The Silent Treatment – When Those with Asperger’s Shut You Out

The Silent Treatment – How to Cope when Those with Asperger’s Shut You OutYou had a disagreement with your Asperger’s Syndrome spouse two weeks ago and rather than resolving it, he walked away and has been giving you “The Silent Treatment” ever since. (This could just as easily be describing an Aspie woman.) He’s nice to everyone who calls on the phone. But you don’t exist. He completely ignores you and shuts you out. He sleeps with his back to you. He leaves the house without saying goodbye to you, although he loves on the dog, making it a point that you see it. He mutters under his breath when he walks past you. And you feel like you’re going mad! Does this describe anything you’ve experienced? If so, you are not alone.

The silent treatment is really a cruel form of abuse and it includes more, like ignoring and shunning, and treating you as if your opinion doesn’t count.

Yes, many of our Aspies have severe anxiety, and some cross wiring that makes it difficult for them to feel and talk at the same time. Many couples have learned how to cope with these situations by creating their own personal rules for engagement. However, when the Aspie chooses to shut down, cut off, shun and even get passive aggressive, this has the result of making us feel abused, oppressed, and worthless.

Psychologists will tell you that when a person cuts you out of their life or shuts you down in these passive aggressive ways, they suffer from a narcissistic wound. They feel obliterated by your strength, so in turn try to obliterate you. It is a severe type of pathology. Not everyone with ASD takes this narcissistic path, but when they do it is devastating.

I hope that a few of you are brave enough to stand up, speak out and talk back. That’s what the next Asperger Syndrome: Partners and Family of Adults with ASD video conference is about. If you’re a member of the group, please register for the call to discuss The Silent Treatment on Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 2:30 PM or Thursday, October 27 at 3:00 PM. We’ll discuss: How to recognize the abuse. How to confront your Aspie. How to take back your life, whether they get it or not. (If you’re a NT in an NT/AS relationship, please feel free to join this group.)

Also, be sure to read “Our of Mind – Out of Sight: Parenting with a Partner with Asperger Syndrome (ASD)”. This book discusses the science behind Aspie behavior and how you can initiate the rules of engagement that help your Aspie give you the emotional support that you need. Click on the image below to request a free chapter.

208 Replies to “The Silent Treatment – When Those with Asperger’s Shut You Out”

  1. I have lived this. It is Hell. You are not alone, you are not crazy, and you don’t deserve the treatment. It IS abuse. In my experience, even with honest talks, it doesn’t get better.

    1. Hello Bob. I am so sorry that you were abused and traumatized. One thing is true, according to Dr. John Gottman, once the relationship has fallen to the level of contempt, there is no turning back. However, if you can stop the gaslighting, and silent treatment, and general verbal abuse fairly early on, it is possible to eke out positive changes. Both people need to be committed to the process.

      1. I recently realized that my husband of 26 years not only has adhd which was diagnosed at childhood also has asd.
        I’ve been slowly setting boundaries but this last one of no more “name calling” has set him into a silent shutdown for a week so far. He hasn’t spoke, touched or prayed w me . What should I do?

      2. Kathy, I am the NT in the marriage with the man who I love dearly. He assaulted me in one of his meltdowns, was arrested, charges were dropped..I was influential in this. He says he “needs to feel safe”. He has a lawyer and wants to”separate”, not really understanding what it is. Now, he is too scared to come back. What do I need to do? He is trying to immigrate to Canada. This is in jeopardy now.

          1. Kathy, I appreciate your comment on taking care of myself, but do you have a suggestion on how I can rebuild my Aspie husband’s trust?

          2. It is very difficult to change the mind of a black and white thinker. Don’t take this on yourself. Your partner needs a good psychologist to unwind things.

          3. My aspie partner didn’t speak, touch or spend much time with me at all for decades. I never said a word or even complained. I decided that HE was the one losing out because I had so much love to give. Oh well his loss!

        1. Lisa, did you guys fix this? Curious if you have a positive update.

          I had a similar situation happen with mine and like Kathy said, his black/white thinking has made him unable to see the big picture even though he’s also said he’d like things resolved. It’s been so difficult.

      3. It’s best to leave an aspie if you are nt. This is not healthy. No one needs to “eke out” anything.

        1. I am an Aspie. My experience with the “silent treatment” was that I never intentionally hurt the person I was ignoring. I was so full of hurt feelings that I feared making the tumult worse if I tried to work it out. I needed to regulate and let the hurt settle so that I could look at the problem logically. I have always struggled with the feelings and mastering them so this is what always worked for me. While I understand that abuse and such is not acceptable, I do not agree with the notion that we should leave a neurodivergent person because they are working through their own problems. People with Asperger’s are fiercely loyal and at least for me want to minimize the amount of hurt we inflict on loved ones, even if that includes taking some time off to settle.

          1. There is only so much that an NT can adjust to or give to try to accommodate an ND partner without getting to a point where their own needs are consistently not being met. No one should have to subject themselves to such neglect in favor of another person. I believe an apt saying is, “Don’t put yourself on fire to keep someone else warm.”

            Both parties need to make adjustments, not just the NT partner. If this can’t be done, then yes, the NT partner should leave so they can find ways to have their needs met, too.

        2. These relationships do not even work between aspie women and aspie men-that is a myth. It presents differently in the women, and women are generally more empathetic, so it is still parallel living with aspie men. Parallel living lacks mutuality which you even see in the animal kingdom and is necessary for survival-God created mutuality in humans especially. This condition is not from Him (Mark 9 14-24). Human beings cannot survive in these kinds of relationships-whether they be asd-nt or even asd-asd. Giving into ASD is not maintainable for anyone, even the person with it. You cannot be healthy with ASD and need to get help and fight the negative behaviors associated with this condition-lack of effort in a relationship! If you are unwilling to get help, do not bring anyone into a romantic relationship with you, knowing that you are not willing to cultivate as healthy of a relationship as possible. Stay single if you are unwilling to be what another person needs.

          1. I agree 100%. I have been trying to keep a relationship with my asd boyfriend for years. nothing changes. It something I can not even describe any more. I just yes him to keep the peace.

      4. I am suffering in my relationship with my ASD b/f. I know that I haven’t been the perfect girlfriend, but I am able to forgive him whenever he has wronged me. His faith beliefs and mine differ. He didn’t seem to have a problem with me being a born again Christian, but as I kept sharing my faith, he tells me that I am wrong, the Bible is wrong and it is all dogma, just flat out criticizing my faith. He believes in God and in Jesus but in a different way and also believes in aliens. I have expressed my disagreements and it has ended in huge arguments. Now he resents me, he also resents me because I don’t agree with psychics, tarot card readings, meditations. I really didn’t mean to offend him but it did greatly. I have apologized to him so many times. I have learned to listen to him when he wants to share his beliefs. I told him that I respect his practices and will refrain from giving unsolicited opinions towards it. This was about 2 months ago since that happened and he still brings them up and I keep apologizing. He says he doesn’t trust me anymore and he doesn’t feel comfortable around me. I left to visit family and spend some time as a way to give each other space. Well, on our last videocall, I told him I was ready to come back, the faith issue came up again, it ended in an argument and he ended up hanging up on me. He has been silent for the past 2 days. I also know he has been stressed because his cat is sick. I am so hesitant on reaching out to him because he could be dealing with an emotional overload but then I don’t know where this relationship stands. It hurts that he distrust me and can’t seem to forgive me. I dont k ow what else to do. I am suffering. Can anyone shed some light about this situation? I don’t know if this means he broke up with me or what. He has never been this silent. Not a text message, nothing.

        1. I wish there were easy answers for you Lola. Love relationships can be fraught with misunderstandings that lead to painful cut offs. Might I suggest taking your broken heart to a compassionate therapist who can help you be OK with you, regardless of whether your boyfriend broke up with you?

        2. You’re saving yourself from years of not intended abuse. Please find someone who will cherish you. This guys has already showed many red flags. Please see them!!! I just read them in Your post. Omg.

        3. Sweetheart this guy is showing you by his actions the amount of how much he lives and respects you.
          You will never find hope in a ND partner.
          Leave now, change your phone number.
          The toxic behaviour cannot change.
          That’s how they are made.

          1. I have been struggling with an Aspy man in his 60s for over four years. Despite being the most intelligent and emotionally Available woman he could ever hope to be with, he has repeatedly broken up with me over the four year partnership.
            Despite being patient and willing to accept his autistic behaviors, I am at the point where my sanity and self-esteem are being eroded. I have stayed in this relationship with all its red flags because I have been insecure about finding a normal, healthy love relationship at this stage of life. This relationship has endured because of my own need to be in a committed heterosexual union, not because it was the right thing to do in -definitely.I’m out!

    2. So true on the not getting better!! I keep trying, hoping, forgiving and any disagreement or triggered PTSD(mine) takes us back to ground zero as if we have never discussed hurts, strategies, team work, NOTHING!!

    3. In my case, I ‘m pretty sure she’s completely unaware that she had/has a disorder or was doing anything wrong so I don’t blame her.
      My mom could go from 0-100 in one misunderstood comment, then she’d shut down and give the cold treatment or just gaslight until she had processed it the next day or even the day after; it was basically impossible to have an honest conversation or making sense out of a situation because she felt attacked, and if you were to win the argument just by pure logic…it’d go even worse. Anywho, everyday was either being neglected or yelled at, while also being the one person to comfort her when she was going through things. It’s tough

      1. Your story is a painful reminder of my own childhood, with my NeuroDiverse mother Irene. When she felt attacked she came after me with a vengeance. I always knew she made no sense, but I still had to endure the terrorizing.

  2. I had this for 12 years it is hell, she was oblivious to the pain she was causing and thought it totally acceptable not to talk to me for weeks and sometimes months. It ripped me in pieces from the inside out as how do you try and resolve an issue when she wont talk about it, even to the point where phone calls were not answered or just repeatedly hung up on. This is what destroyed our relationship as i could not cope with it, there is no worse feeling that being ignored for weeks and weeks followed by threats of its over. Just abusive and not a way to traet another human

    1. I chose to stop talking to my ex spouse/ASD once I decided to get a divorce. He didn’t seem to mind at all. About three months went by. When I approached him to discuss the divorce I had planned, he thought we were getting along better. I pointed out that we hadn’t talked in three months and he agreed that was the case. For “Aspies” the silent treatment is not necessarily vindictive, but self preservation. Nevertheless it feels like abuse doesn’t it?

      1. Hi Kathy,

        I have serious concerns that my husband might have Asperger’s. The problem is… we are living in a middle east country and I don’t think the specialists here are good enough to detect anything like that especially given that my husband’s masking abilities are highly advanced and he is a perfect convincer. He needs to be evaluated by someone experienced and it seems like you are offering only education and therapy appointments. I need him to be evaluated desperately indeed before I lose my sanity. Can you plz let me know as soon as possible if you are offering evaluation appointments too?

        1. Dear Aysha, it is best if someone local completes the evaluation. Or if you can fly to a neighboring country with a good clinic. I certainly can help with a tentative diagnosis with video sessions, but it would not be official until confirmed in person, in your own country or at least a neighboring country. I am happy to consult with you on what to look for in an evaluator, though. Just send me an email through my website. Thank you, Dr. Kathy

          1. Actually even a tentative diagnosis might be a good first step for us because although I brought up this issue to him months ago, he keeps being in denial. I don’t claim he has it for sure but I really want to know what’s going on. I feel like all I have to do is to attract his attention to the issue and only a professional can do this, not me. Even if it’s a tentative diagnosis, when he starts having suspects, he himself may dig into it much more deeply. Also he is too busy with his work and I don’t think he will travel to anywhere else for something he denies. It seems like this is my only shot and if you agree on a video session, I am planning to talk to him. I have to do this at least for the sake of our lovely daughter.

      2. I try to keep that in mind that they are NOT being vindictive but just the stress and ASD wiring causing the shutdown and silent, avoidance treatment. It still crushes the heart and mind of the NT who wants connection and peace. Whether intentionally or not if someone cuts you…it still bleeds and hurts! I need to know where is ASD effort, energy application of counseling skills to do better by their NT spouse!??!
        I have dedicated 15 years to this marriage, most spent alone, crying, confused, angry, fussing, yearning and not I’m resentful. So not my style!!

        1. Same here. My ASD gf broke up with saying i have been stressful to her. She was such sweet kind loving girl before this happened. I try to comfort her in her bad times. But she completely cut me off. No call no text .. nothing. Her personality changed within 1 month. Now i feel as she is completely different person.

          1. All so validating. After 2 years with an undiagnosed man with Asperger’s (I have taught public school for 32 years and we know autism), I am left with crippling anxiety and a complete lack of equilibrium. He has cast me aside for the second time, saying he doesn’t have the energy for me, and I know I won’t hear from him for months. This time, when he resurfaces, and I believe he will, I won’t make the mistake of getting back together.

        2. I feel your pain. 24 years married to an undiagnosed aspergers husband and after all these years of constantly bending to HIM he has the audacity to tell me he doesn’t feel connected to me. He has hurt me sooooo deeply, there is no turning back. He has a dark narcissistic side that is impossible to deal with.

      3. It’s the worst feeling in the world. I was stonewalled 3 months ago after a two year relationship and I heard he moved on to the next woman the next month. He is text book asd but 53 and never diagnosed. His behaviour especially emotionally was so odd and you can tell he was so detached from understanding your emotions and even his own.

        1. My asp husband left me 3 days after my mother’s funeral. Both of my parents have dementia. I moved my mom home from her nursing home bc the conditions there were nothing short of squalid. He said he was okay with this, but I think it was the beginning of the end. After my mom died i moved my dad home from his memory care facility; same conditions in all facilities in FL, it’s criminal. We were together for almost 5 years, married for 3. The marriage was never really consummated. He went from trying to not even looking at me or touching me if I was naked. He has diabetes but refuses to practice any form of self care. I saw him through a debilitating foot wound, 2 retinal surgeries, 2 pulmonary embolisms and multiple hospital stays. But when I had 2 biopsies, he didn’t even ask me what the results were. Didn’t know he was on the spectrum when we got married, but he turned into a VERY different person after we got married. When he left, I was discarded. He took almost nothing from the house. After a few months, I want to thank him for having the courage to leave, I’m not sure if I ever could have, and I was slowly dying inside. I miss the person I fell in love with, but I don’t know if any of it was real at this point. Was he masking for the entire courtship, did he truly love me, or was he just doing what he thought he was supposed to? I feel like a shell of my former self.

    2. This is happening to me too. I am guttered. Their actions are devastating and to the point it’s making me physically sick.

      1. Me too I am so defeated ar the moment I agrree I am not the my best oerson in this relationshio. This has hapoened at actime when I meed his support the most.

      2. You’re in the same case with me! I was shocked that he suddenly ended the relationship just after a fight even though we always had had great times together before that. I was sleepless, eat less and nauseated in the first couple weeks. It was a terrible feeling!

        1. I have just been through exactly the same experience. It was awful. After 13 years, most of them happy and in love.

        2. Been there. Left after 2.5yrs. episodes of silent treatment every 2 months without fail. Always it was something I did. I was the one always coming to him to apologise. Hated my children, wanted me to himself. I lost touch with friends. And then one day asked him to join us for a birthday dinner for my 18 yr old and that was the end. 2 weeks of silence and than an email to end it all! to coward to do it FtF.
          I’m not in a great space now and he’s moved on to his next conquest.

          1. Are you sure it’s not just NPD? I did just go through the same thing and he moved on the next month but after a stonewall. There was always something missing though emotionally. I never truly felt loved by him or connected he couldn’t do it.

    3. I’m stiill there, kind of. Years later, still haunted, not the same as I was. Flashbacks of misery and churning every single day.
      I’ll live with this for the rest of my days.
      If they’ve not been through it…they simply don’t get it.
      But you do. Thank you stranger.
      Here’s a hug from me.

  3. I’m going through this with my fiancé right now. He’s not a malicious or mean or cruel person. I think it’s his way of protecting himself and I think he’s worried about saying the wrong thing. But it kills me. He told me upfront when we started dating that he was an Aspie. I love him the way he is, but the silent treatment and being shut out kills me when he does it. I don’t know how to deal with it. I think I make it worse by constantly trying to get him to talk.

    1. One way to stay calm when your “Aspie” gives you the silent treatment, is to remind yourself that they may mean nothing by it. In fact, their mind may be totally blank. Since they have nothing to say, they don’t consider that you may need to talk. We NTs talk through everything, but “Aspies” not so much. Forgetting it, or filing it away, or ignoring it — are all solutions for those with ASD. This is because they do not see solutions as a joint effort.

      1. After 30 years what I’ve noticed with my aspie husband is that he’s only gotten worse and in fact at midlife he had a major crisis and left me. He went through all of our savings had a meltdown that lasted for 12 months and then wanted to come home. I let him come back because I felt sorry for him, (aspie that he is) and he started in 10 times worse than he than he was before he left. He cannot forgive or forget anything; he loves giving me the silent treatment; he calls me a fucking bitch and constantly makes threats to leave me; he is a very sick man. You can call and “aspies” like it’s a cute name or something, but these people are monsters. With age I can tell you it gets worse every single day. You deserve a loving normal individual in your life who can have a date with you, talk to you, look you in the eyes, hold your hand, kiss you. What a nightmare life is without the simple things. Get rid of these sick partners.

    2. Be prepared to lose yourself along the way. Your needs will not get met and the lack of emotional connection made me both physically and emotionally sick. I endured 21 years of this & didn’t realize he was ASP. I didn’t figure it out until year 18 so the damage was beyond repair. I hope you find ways to get your emotional needs met because it is something I didn’t realize would affect me as negatively as it did.

      1. 44 years on the receiving end of this. Your emotional needs will rarely or never be met. Your kids will figure out Dad is different, but the rest if the world will never see the whole picture. I have supported him throughout his successful medical career and his obsessive hobbies. I should have given up and left. At 65 I still fantasize about a life with someone with more of an “emotional range.”. actually, at 65 just a life without his never ceasing childish bickering. I missed the boat on a more successful life for myself. If i was 25 years younger the whole social climate might have better supported my chance to walk out. Just exhausted.

        1. I’m exhausted too!! I’m too old to go but so don’t want to stay!! Just here…just here. Trying to be the best mom to a very aware daughter and stay involved with other aspects of my life. We have hidden this from his family and I make him look like an awesome husband and dad in front of his parents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Wears me out and I’m empty. Sometimes I pretend so well I forget this is not true just a facade to get through Thanksgiving or Christmas of family trips! So exhausted, so lonely.

          1. I felt better when I stopped pretending and covering for him and us. Get more authentic and back in touch with yourself and others. That fantasy is not sustainable.

          2. I so understand Dotty.. I have been through marriage counselling, long tearful talks with my sister and daughter on and off for 19 years because of arguments that have turned abusive , with my husband. I ve read so much on how to try and understand Asperger’s and to make our marriage last. I’m 56 now and I shouted last night after trying calmly to sort a small misunderstanding out. He demanded me to leave his room, I did nt, he leant over me and screamed in my face to get out. I went.

      2. Vicky, I hear ya!! I just discovered my husband was has ASD(undiagnosed) but still its pretty obvious once you know what to look for! 15 years in…shell of myself, goals unmet, dreams deferred, hopes dashed, weight gain, depression, addictions!! It’s pure madness trying to love an ASD person while trying to ignore your own biological and psychological needs. Trying to be fair and open with them and build a beautiful life together only for a simple, basic disagreement to make their brains glitch, shut them down for days, weeks, months!! The NT still has to take care of the kids, the bills, the house, while working and nursing a confused, crushed, lonely heart!!! I could go on and on but why!!?? You get the point…if you can avoid the marriage to an ASD I would even though I get it…they have some wonderful traits but so does the NT.

  4. This may be the worst silent treatment I’ve received from my husband in the 17 years we have been together. Married for 13. We have four kids, 11, 9, and 5-yr old twins, one of whom was diagnosed ASD several years ago. It was during that process we realized that my husband is ASD, likely Aspergers. Put the Jeopardy Championship in a new light. He has always failed to communicate or solve things jointly without it going very badly. We’ve been on a roller coaster ride since our eldest was born. He uses the silent treatment, usually for a couple days, and then he relents only when I am being nice. He does it in response to me getting angry and yelling at him. This time, it was a particularly nasty fight, and I said some cruel things – they were true, but they were cruel. I had been putting up with so much crap all day, and he said a few choice words, and I just lost control of my temper and let him have it, calling him miserable, a dark cloud, his whole family miserable (true; his dad is a delusional narcissist), noting how he couldn’t deal with our ASD kiddo & fomented his meltdowns. He responded with silence, and then angry silence, and then cold, vicious silence. If I get near him he storms off. If I try to talk to him he walks out of the room. He does it in front of the kids. He started something he’s never done before, these weird, business-y emails to discuss logistics. It is the only way he has communicated for the past three days. I know that eventually this storm will pass, but I feel like by my letting it happen, I make it easier and easier for him to disrespect and emotionally abuse me. I’m no innocent party – I apologized to him for my cruelty, told him I loved him, and that I was truly sorry. I asked him to put the kids before himself and not cause them any anguish by watching the way he is treating me. Your words resonated with me – that I obliterated him. I get that he doesn’t feel safe. We haven’t had sex in over a year (he has refused, even when we get along well, because he doesn’t trust me emotionally (since a number of times over the last year I have gotten angry and done something like the above). He calls me a bully. He doesn’t have friends, doesn’t have anyone to talk to. I went to our Rabbi about it a couple of times, and the Rabbi would like to speak to him about his anger problems (a few months ago he said some horrible things to to our eldest son), but he refuses to see the Rabbi. He’s long refused therapy. I’ve long felt simultaneously guilty (because I know that my emotional lack of control/abusive language to him trigger these periods, but honestly, it is like .0001 of myself, it is the perimenopausal hormonal fed-up exhausted SAHM. I have lots of friends who know me and us well, and feel like he needs an intervention. I am open with them about everything I have said to him – I don’t paint myself as a martyr or a victim – I try to be as self-aware of my role in this as possible. But I just don’t know what to do.

    1. You are not alone Ashley. There is so much I could say about your post. First of all forgive yourself. Blowing up is very normal when you are in an intolerable situation. Of course blowing up is no solution, but it is a symptom . . .of Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Disorder. You can’t carry on like this or you will get terribly sick. So if he won’t talk to the Rabbi or a psychologist, take yourself and the kids to these professionals. You have to carve out a life regardless of whether or not your husband recognizes the problems.

      1. Thank you. I just scheduled a video appointment for you in early February. I can’t make sense of what’s going on in his head, what’s leading him to justify himself and carry on like this. He’s such a loving, hands-on Dad so much of the time, but he is so intense and places so many demands on everyone, such high expectations, a place of “no” person. I can’t help but see the man I love trapped in there deep inside, and the two of us have such a deep bond. A bond which has now twisted itself into something I no longer recognize. I wish desperately he would wake up and smell the madness, and do something about it.

        1. Taking action to stop the madness is exactly the right thing to do. Don’t give up on either of you, but never put up with the abuse.

      2. I wish there were an easy way to find an affordable professional to help with marital and issues. I have tried for a long time but the people we saw made things worse. Affordable is key, he has trouble keeping a job and could never support himself.

        1. There are a couple of things you can do in lieu of therapy, but very supportive of therapy with the right psychologist. First, for the couple, please take my recorded online course. I spent a lot of years struggling with my own NeuroDivergent family, so when I developed this course, I had that suffering as a backdrop for my words. Once you take the course, you can join our online community. It’s totally private but is unique in that both NeuroTypical and NeuroDiverse can participate. I also offer monthly free webinars for course participants. Click here to learn more:

          Next for the NT only join the Meetup group, Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD.

    2. wow it sounds like I’m reading about my self.
      the feelings you have that is.
      you want to chat and resolve but they just don’t think it’s important.
      my partner of 7 years is not selfish at all, but his lack of empathy , his sensitivity to me talking a bit loud sounds ten times louder to him.he says I’m shouting and I’m not, of course then you do shout.
      he drifts off in conversations and looses interest in what I say.
      he looks at me when I go shopping with track suits on and says if there is the smallest bit of paint on them from Decorating your not going out like that are you?
      the whole relationship is completely strained, sex was good but robotic like a routine pattern.a cuddle not a warm embrace.
      every task I ask for help with stresses him out , and got forbid I make a list of things to do.
      it’s so sad that he can’t cope with me having friend s over 3 times in 3 weeks , he says to me do we really need them to visit again.
      dispite all these small but significant things I really do love his kindness his honesty and generous to a fault.
      he always thinks of others and never forgets my birth day.
      he always helps n
      my daughter , runs around school drop offs and yet here I am , writing on a blog and he’s gone into shut down , buggered by a small argument .he’s packed his suit case and left.
      he’s checked into a hotel and has told me it’s for peacof mind and to think of only him self for a change.
      I feel devasted .we have overcome so much , and he just let’s it all go.

      1. I am so sorry you are going through this Athena. No matter how much we adapt to our “Aspies” they only know their own experience of anxiety. In order to reduce anxiety “Aspies” often go silent or check out for days. When you have an empathy dysfunction as our “Aspies” do, they have no idea that you also have anxiety and depression. They think they are the only one who feels this way. Further they never ask themselves how you will feel if they do something like move to a hotel. It never occurs to them that you might be devastated. Always take care of yourself and never doubt for a moment that you have been an exceptional spouse.

        1. My boyfriend knows I have anxiety issues and that his silent treatment only makes them worse, and yet he seems incapable of doing anything about it. In fact it was the one of my anxiety attacks that upset our plans that triggered this latest shutdown. This is one of the things that leads me to think he has Aspergers/ASD. In a rare reply to my texts last week he said he needs to be left alone to regain his sanity. When I asked if he’d like to meet and talk, he said he had nothing to say, and does not want to. He said it would be a disaster and that he doesn’t want a scene. So then I asked if he is anticipating a scene because he is thinking of breaking up with me, and that’s when he said he is not sure. I’ve been driving myself nuts since then. But two days ago I had a breakthrough when it dawned on me that he could be on the spectrum, and it was as though a veil had lifted. I have so much love and understanding for him, but I can’t do anything about it until he comes out of his shutdown and gives us a chance. We do not live together. The ball is entirely in his court now. It’s been almost a week since he shut down, and four days since he replied to my texts. Two days ago I sent him an understanding email, to try to let him know that I’m not angry and that either way, whether he decided to break up with me or stay together, life would carry on calmly. I hope I didn’t push him even further away with my email. I just want things to return to ‘normal’, because now I’d know what to expect and how to handle things and stop taking things personally. But he has to give us a chance, and I don’t know how long he will stay away. I feel that if I were to slip out of his life at this point he wouldn’t even notice. It’s very sad because I thought we were happy together. I need advice please.

          1. Hello Bridget,

            I am so sorry you are going through this, I too went/go through those episodes with my boyfriend.
            When we met despite some quirks from he and me as well we connected on a deep level and things were going well. I had found someone as serious on routines as I – I have anxiety and ADD so need great organisation to function properly. Tbh at this point I already suspected he may be ASD or on the spectrum. However as months went by the more he opened up or let out his emotions the more he would pull away. One day he went to the extreme and this was followed by silence treatment. As it was the first time happening in my life it left me shook then angry so I broke up with him a couple of days later.
            Few weeks after we reconnected and decided to start over again. Things went well for the beginning until he confided he might be ASD. Since then he pulled away and been mia for a week. Part of me understand what is going on in his mind and wants to support while the other just knows it is not my responsibility to heal wounds rooted in his childhood and I need to preserve myself. I do care about him but for my best thinks should let him go for good.

            My advice for you Bridget is to weighs the pros and cons and above all is his wellbeing to be put before yours ? Is this what you want for your future ?

            Those are questions I am wondering as well.

          2. You might want to be careful with this. Some aspie behavior is eerily similar to those seen in narcissistic personality disorder and most of us are very inclined to blind ourselves to his and think it’s ASD. By making it so it feels more acceptable… Easier to deal with, but don’t be mistaken… It is abusive behavior nonetheless and they will not change. If you can get out, do it.

          3. Thank you for pointing this out Lina. Empathy is the critical piece here. Without empathy, NeuroDiverse folks need a strong moral code to keep from slipping into narcissism. But the other side of the story is that NeuroTypicals want to believe they are safe in the world if they are empathic. This is simply not true. If you are to aspire to Radiant Empathy status, you must be a warrior. There are times to be kind and supportive. There are also times to “Stand Up, Speak Out and Talk Back.” Empaths who are not brave cause as much damage as those with Empathy Dysfunction.

          4. He has no empathy my friend. He thinks logically, Not emotionally as you do.
            He does not miss you in the way you do him. If you question him, he takes it personally. If you love an ‘Aspie’ be prepared to lose your identity. To be a carer for a person that will NEVER love you tge way you hope and dream.
            Once the ‘lovebombing’ phase is over…because its way too much for them…be prepared for the ‘mask’ to slip…..see the truth.
            These robots are programmed different to othet people. They are blinkered to their own faults. Everything is YOUR fault. You Will have to sacrifice who you are in order to stay with them.
            Meltdowns are the norm.
            Once you become Trauma bonded…the devalue stage sets in….
            They are not interested in you or your small talk or anything.
            Its all about Them. What they like to do, special interests, specific diet, routines, .
            Be prepared to ‘die’ inside.
            I,m there now my friend…..

          5. I know it will be really hard at first. But take it from me.
            Move on. It’ll hurt as you will feel that he needs someone who understands. But the deal is, you will never be understood, your needs and hopes and dreams will be lost.
            I clung on to the wonderful things about my ex asd husband, I kept hoping somehow we could get back to that place where we were so in love.
            But “that place” was where I was deluded.
            I hadn’t a clue. He was shy and sweet.
            Now, I can’t do anything right, I “don’t know what I’m talking about”
            Anything that is frustrating in his life will somehow come back on me.
            I cause him all his anxiety and depression.
            I realize I can not “save him” nor love him enough.
            I left 3 weeks ago. I wake up everyday with extreme anxiety. I built my world and him. But, I know that I can never be what he needs.
            However, I can be what I need.
            I’ve already started healing. Tho it still hurts, Im not always anxious or nervous or trying to figure out how to please him. I can breathe.
            Let him go. I’m sorry.

      2. Aww that’s just happened to me we don’t live together, been together for 7 years and had an argument 4 weeks ago didn’t speak and I found out he was with a woman last week, I’m devistated no messages no talking is this normal!!

        1. No messages. No talking. Yes my friend it is ‘Normal’…for Them..that is.
          Its called sulking or Silent Treatment or Ghosting.
          I call it behaving like a pathetic spoilt brat!
          If you can…Move on…Run…
          Look after You x

          1. Lucy, Wow, I am so sorry for what you have been through. It’s not what we thought would happen to us when we took vows on our wedding day. The day after our wedding my aspie announced that he didn’t really want to be married and that he made a mistake. He also added that we would just make the best of it by pretending to be married because he didn’t want to disappoint his family. At that time I had no idea he was an aspie because he hid it so well up until then. I wish I would have yielded to the red flags and told him, “NO!”
            I paid the price for the next 30 years. He never offered me any attention such as sex, affection or took any real interest in me. He left me alone every evening instead of having spending time with me. He chose to sit in a bar and drink to excess every night. I thought I was living in a nightmare because this was not the person I had dated. Apparently, he masked his true self to get me and then left me scared, lonely and sad. I decided not to tell anyone about my marriage and I learned to pretend. I went back to school and became a teacher and put all my love, attention and focus on my students.
            Being married to an aspie is a very lonely road to be on. So, make sure you focus on a career, hobbies, friends and make a happy life for yourself. They will never meet your needs, so you have to create your own happy life for yourself and forget about them! You are not responsible for them!

        2. Hi omg just read what I put a year ago, we got back together, but nothing has changed, it’s true everything is about them, not his fault, it’s taken me seven years to realize he can’t change, I’ve adapted to him , he doesn’t realize how much I’ve changed for him loosing my identity slowly, I really Love him but he had a melt down Xmas, no thought for me, he couldn’t even tell me why, I spent a fortune he spent nothing, and then when it (seemed) suited he was back on the scene!! This has been happening for years, I always make excuses, cover for him, go into debt, and then he carries on as if nothing has happened!! A friend once said ” one day it will happen again” you will gradually become desensitized to it, and just like that you wil realize no more!!! That day has come, sad as it is but I’m loosing myself and getting nothing back!! I have to rebuild my life now and I’m not young anymore, I know he will be ok as he has his obsessed hobbies, and has always told me he doesn’t need anyone!!! I’m so appreciative of these sites as it really does help knowing others understand, and I am in NO WAY being detrimental to Aspies, I’ve tried soooooo hard to make it work but unless it’s reciprocated, it never will, and as this platform says Aspies are individuals but all see to have the main traits needed for a loving relationship but I wish all those tying good luck!!! X

          1. Geraldine, 100% agree with everything you’ve written., except that you are no longer young. I’m at the same place, and every time I think maybe I should reach out, I DON’T. He left. Its a relief to not be responsible for feeding him like a 4th grader, caring for his health when he couldn’t care less. Its a relief not being ignored and alone. Truly alone is better, much better. I’m trying to convince myself that maybe one day I will find someone who I can love and who will return that love, but I’m not feeling too optimistic right now. I blocked his phone and texts and at least know I’m moving in the right direction!

    3. Omg you only called him that? I know name calling is bad in any form, but that is so mild. My ASD spouse has called me every name in the book. F’G B, 1,000s of times, wh–re, dead fish, no spring chicken, mentally ill, bipolar, crazy like “insert name here,” brooding, hypocrite, liar…I can’t even remember them all. I’m none of those things but the F’g B part did get to my head because there are days anyone can be in a bad mood. By the time it reached the peak of verbal abuse, I was too broken to leave and am still here. I’m going to die in this nothingness. I believe some ASD are different. I think it’s either because they had one parent not on the spectrum or parents who did not teach by example these behaviors and held them to higher standards. 28 plus years of marriage and I will never have a spouse who will make me the priority unless he needs something from me.. Unless I’m bleeding, vomiting, having a heart attack right then and there, in the hospital, etc. It is not enough for him to want to give me any of his time. Pneumonia, cancer and serious but non-life threatening illnesses are his time to take a vacation with friends. Friends trump family always because his “friends” share the same special interest, biking. If they stop biking he stops connecting with them. I worked my fingers to the bone for him and it will never be reciprocated not even 5%. I hear ya sister!

    4. Ashley. I completely understand you. I’m
      Dealing with the same. Been with my husband for 12! Years and I didn’t want to have kids due to childhood traumas of a narcissist mother. My husband worshipped me. He was socially awkward but I loved that. I loved his hyper focus on me. Well we have kids (not planned) and both have autism. It’s ruined me. I feel awful saying this but I have resentment. I said from day 1 I can’t deal with kids and now on top of it those with special needs and a husband who acts the same. I can’t even begin to express how hard it’s been. He never starts a conversation. Doesn’t ask how I’m feeling. Note I’m a very social person. He’s been arrested for theft of stupid things. And once for a larger amount and he to go away for 18 months. Here I was left with 2 babies. I met a man while he was away for almost 3.5 years and we had a summer romance. It was the best time of my life. I was happy, he was so into talking for hours. I remember thinking now this is living. However my old wounds from my mother and so fearful it would end I definitely think I sabotaged that relationship or he was just a charmer but the point being that when my husband was in jail I was bombarded with letters, calls. When he’s out he falls back into as I call it “ living in his own world”. He constantly will just get dressed and leave and then come back surprised I got worried about him. Doesn’t do check ins or check ups on me. And if there is a issue forget it he’s on the attack then shuts down. And I mean down for days. And sometimes he will shut down and while being silent send a news article to me about something funny or relating to my likes. But won’t face the point of the argument. What I can’t stand is not feeling like I’m on stable ground ever. I don’t get talk support unless I basically ask for it. Right now my mother has used private info I told her about a bad time my husband lost it and grabbed me so I wouldn’t leave him and told the cops . So you guessed it…. He’s arrested again. Protective order in place. This is traumatic for us both. Bc in a way what my mom did was right but what she caused was just to get me to herself which she’s done so many times in the past. The incident happened 2.5 years ago and now I’m alone home with 2 autistic kids getting the silent treatment bc I’m trying to explain to him financially the kids and I come first before I start sending legal documents to my mother. Once I said that he shut down. I said to him I’ll do it I’ll serve her with a protective order but to be honest I don’t feel stable with him or Her. But she can’t use his issues to separate us and he can’t use me to gain what he wants if that makes sense. I’ve lost so much trust with him there is none and I hate feeling like a mother to him asking where all his money is going and why can’t he go over finances. It’s always hard. Any non light and friendly talk is as if it’s a threat. We are on day 3 of no talking. He instead emailed my lawyer saying “I’ll pay for whatever she needs to deal with her mom” yet won’t call me back or text me back. It’s insanity to me. My biggest problem is once he hits a long enough period of time of childish silence by the time he’s done I’m done! And I do it right back so he understands how cruel it is. It’s a cycle I hate. It benefits nobody. I texted him last night and said asked you to call . You didn’t so don’t cry to me later on. I can’t help someone who’s silent. I’m so frustrated. We haven’t had sex which is on me bc I’ve truthfully lost attraction. Each episode just makes me want him less. I want out of all of this. I resent him bc of the kids. I feel like my life is passing me by.

    5. Hello ,
      My name is Liz. Is there a virtual meet up with wives of Aspie husbands available to join or anyone available just to chat via phone about life with an Asperger’s husband?
      I’m not able to afford counseling at this time.
      I’m 23 years married , 2 beautiful daughters, age 19 and 16.
      Husband is a diagnosed level 1 Asperger’s about 4 years ago . He is a silent spouse who only talks when spoken to and then it’s 50 questions to get more information.
      Our resentment towards each other is extreme and I find having any hope very difficult. Nothing gets through to him , but he is not a mean nor angry person.
      I’m always angry snd acting out , so I’m the problem and believe I have failed miserably.
      Speaking with anyone who can relate would be such a huge blessing.
      Thank you

      1. Hello Elizabeth. Thank you for your question. Yes our group is international and includes video conferences, teleconferences, message boards. Our website has recordings of past teleconferences. Plus there a numerous videos on You Tube from my Facebook Lived. We have been meeting for 13 years using Meetup as our gathering place. To learn more just click on the Meetup logo on my website.

        Plus if you get a chance, today I am offering a Facebook Live at 1:15.

        As to your anger, please be compassionate with yourself. This is a tough life. In our group you will discover that you are not alone.

        Hope to see you soon at our next event.

        1. 19 yrs. So much tension We needed a break from one another. Now he says I abandoned him and I’m an abuser. I finally got help that he may be Aspergers. It all makes sense now. But he will never speak to me again. If we had known maybe we could’ve saved our marriage. I didn’t know till it was too late. Did he really never love me? Will he ever want to re connect? We are divorcing. But I feel he is confused

      2. I’m looking for excactly the same thing.
        I’m 30 years old, 12 years with my husband.
        I was raised in a narcissistic family and left them all 8 years ago with my boyfriend.
        I thought I would make a new start.
        It’s just hell for 12 years.
        I ended up with chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, all sorts of issues.
        Nowhere to go.
        Lost almost all my friends and family.
        I know it’s a bad thing to say, but I hate my husband.
        He took everything from me.
        I need people in my life who can relate to me
        I’m at a loss..

        1. Please join one of our groups and seek professional guidance. You have been wandering in the wilderness. Now it is time to take back your life.

    6. This is my own relationship to a T. My partner is ASD undiagnosed, we have a ASD diagnosed child and I have ADHD (that he told our therapist I got as a diagnosis from Dr Google (which I did not, I got from a psychiatrist).

    7. Get into prayer . Learn to pray . Find hobbies for yourself . Work on your own happiness. Telling them the same thing repeatedly just makes them distance themselves and view you as the enemy.
      I have been praying so much lately and I have been feeling more at peace. Pray for your husband. He is going to have to learn on his own how to be a good husband and overall a better person. You and your kids are everything. That he has and if he dosent learn how to live a Normal healthy life he will lose everything.

  5. Hi Ashley I am going through similar situation. I didn’t even know my son was an aspie until I disapproved of his girl friend and he shut himself out. It’s been almost a year n half since he spoke to any of us in the family. We had such a beautiful relationship n it’s completely ruined. He lives in a different city doesn’t help. I am struggling to the point of losing my mind and my health and my aspie husband is of no help. Tell me if you have overcome your situation n tell me what are you doing to help yourself and the situation. Love

  6. This is such a difficult situation and my heart goes out, I did not know my wife was an aspie until after we were married which sadly then fell apart.

    I often think what could I have done differently if I had understood this condition more but it’s safe to say this is an extremely complex condition that most NTs cannot understand without a lot of support and help.

    Someone told me once that an aspie has lived there whole lives being told what they are doing is wrong or rude etc so that pain for them must be very real gor them and difficult to process whilst living in a constant state of anxiety….even one argument or verbal disagreement can be devastating and lead to shut down to protect you and themselves …they will care but not know what to do as they do not follow social norms.

    I found in the limited interaction I now have it is best to be clear, calm and concise about your needs an aspie will not be able to recognize any NT relationship behavior …meltdowns by an aspie you love can be so heart breaking but I know now it is best not to react but try to reframe the behavior or come back later with a calm response as reacting emotionally in the moment will spiral the situation.

    Aspies are truly amazing people however as a NT I understand that some NT people may not be able to manage such a situation day by day…and everyone should ensure their own health needs come first.

    All the best

    1. Such a thoughtful response. Thank you. I quite agree that NTs need help navigating the boiling waters of an NT/ASD relationship. I also agree that it is not a relationship for the feint or heart. I certainly grieve over my mistakes and wished I’d had the insight I have now. This is also why I formed an interventional support group on Meetup, “Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD.

    2. Seeing that you are an NT male as I read these comments, I am reminded to ask KM or others if support groups exist with mixed gender neurotypical partners in pain. Strange question I know, but it is sometimes overwhelming as a woman to feel that there is no man out there who understands. And often in online support groups of women only, I can’t relate to topics such as physical abuse or outraged/angry approaches. You are tone sounds more like my situation so I am wondering if it’s a more typical situation among men with female partners on the spectrum.. If that makes sense.

      1. Our Meetup group has both male and female members. As you noted, regardless of gender, the issues for NTs are the same.

  7. I dont know how you al take this for weeks or even years.. I had stupid stupid argument when my aspie fiancee was lecturing me on how to do something and showed (as usual) no concern for the stress I was under at the time. I usually sit on it but for once i called it out the next day and all hell broke loose (from me) and she went dark, no responses to texts, calls or emails. It’s our 5 year anniversary and unfortunately and fortunately it’s the last I ever hear from her.

    1. I am so sorry Peter. Don’t be so hard on yourself. The oppression of living with a loved one on the Spectrum is severe. Yes, it’s true that they give up very easily and run, when we would hang in there and work it through. Be grateful that you have the stamina to do so. Others will appreciate your gifts.

  8. I arrived at this blog searching for “Aspergers + long silence.” I have a 3 1/5 year NT / Aspie relationship. I have experienced the Silent Treatment 2 times now. The first time he did not speak, email, text or call me for 1 month. So far this time it has been 5 days. I suspect it will go on longer.

    We are all under tremendous stress due to 2020. He has been fixated on COVID intently all year and is obsessed. This time his shutdown was prompted by an argument. He did something wrong and I came down on him hard. I am usually super patient and either keep silent or try to gently discuss it while he changes the subject or agrees with me but doesn’t change. The problem is that he has been allowing another woman to pursue him. This has happened in the past and I have been understanding and asked only that he be 100% transparent with me in the future if it happened again. I found out that he has been talking to her and hasn’t disclosed it. I say this because it is clear that he is wrong this time. He came up with reasons why he felt it was not a big deal and basically did not validate my feelings. I got angry and now I haven’t heard from him in 5 days. While I am sympathetic to his sensitivities, I have to have boundaries. His silence is profoundly impacting me and has slammed me into serious anxiety and depression. Can he learn better relationship skills? Can he learn to see my point of view at least intellectually? Can he learn to understand and meet my needs at least intellectually? Is there hope or should I walk away?

    1. Dear Renee. Of course there is hope —- but focus on yourself, not your spouse. His behavior is not about you, but a demonstration of his disability. Of course he is breaking a promise to you to be faithful, but more importantly he fails to understand how hurtful his behavior is to you. Believe it or not, this is quite common for “Aspies.” They fail to take into consideration the person into their reasoning. So they offer logical explanations and when those don’t work, they often resort to the silent treatment. While it is unlikely he will understand your hurt feelings, he probably can understand that he has broken an important vow. Start with that.

      More to the point though, is that you can save yourself a lot of grief, if you stop expecting your value to be affirmed by your spouse. This Is what is meant by detachment. By detaching oneself from an expectation that cannot be fulfilled, we are free to live with what we really have. If you can do that you may have a relationship that gives you some sense of love. On the other hand if you have to compromise too much, it may be time to leave.

      I hope this doesn’t sound too negative. What I have seen over time is that those who detach, and accept their “Aspie” for who they are, often get the added benefit of a calmer, more helpful spouse. With the pressure off of them to perform to the NT standards, they have less anxiety and a bit more time to actually consider the outcome of their behavior.

      1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. You are generous to give so much time. You given me a starting place to help make some decisions. It can be really hard to understand someone who thinks so differently from me. At this point it has been almost two weeks and I still haven’t heard from him. Luckily we are not married and do not live together so if we do separate there is less at stake, except my heart and a long investment. Thank you so much, Kathy!

        1. Dear Renee, I too am going through something similar and am wondering how your story developed a year later. Are you still together? Did things improve? Hope you are well whatever happened.

      2. It is always’ US’ that has to compromise
        If we ‘detatch’ and ‘back off’, accept them for who they are too much, then what is the point?
        Its not a ‘relationship’…its being a carer.
        I compromised for 6 years. It got me nowhere. I cannot even begin to tell you what i went through. Trauma Bond is very real.
        The Discard at the end…classic….
        I fell into a deep pit..still there.
        If you choose to be in a ‘relationship’ with an Aspie, then die inside.
        Its all about THEM. THEIR needs, wants.
        Stroking their Ego.
        No they do not change….they MASK in the beginning. It becomes too much so mask does slip.
        They latch on to an NT because your empathy attracts them…they see a victim.
        Once the Lovebombing phase over…be prepared for WAR!
        YOUR HEAD. YOUR HEART. Both will be tested to the very limit.
        All you poor broken people here…i shed tears for you all…
        I am now a crumpled thrown away mess…
        RUN..RUN…RUN..Save yourselves x

        1. I am so sorry you are hurting Lucy. I hope you join our group meetings to get the support that means so much when we feel this alone. Not everyone in a NeuroDivergent relationship experiences this level of narcissistic abuse, however. Many on the Spectrum would be horrified by the trauma inflicted on you. I have been “discarded” by NT and ASD alike. Narcissists exist at many levels of society and are not limited to one diagnosis. But the pain they inflict is devastating. It took me years to reclaim my life, and only after I found emotionally safe professionals and friends. Take care.

          1. Thank you Kathy for acknowledging me….it feels strange to have validation.
            He will continue on his path of destruction, appealing to him is a complete waste of time.
            He moves on as if i never was..never existed. I am Nothing.
            Never fool yourself into thinking They are remembering You….No, they remember anything negative and ruminate on it. One minute they love you and you are Everything…Next you are discarded like last nights chip papers…
            They DO come back…because its happened to me…numerous times…just when you climb out of the darkness…
            Here he comes…to yet again suck out your very soul…and You…because of trauma bond… let them in…oh my god…the times i have done this…!!?
            My confidence is rock bottom, i can never imagine meeting or trusting anyone again…
            I,d rather die than be where i am again…the pain is relentless…Invalidation after all the support i gave…
            My heart is broken…a million over…my head is grieving for a man that does not exist.
            He Never existed.
            He is cold, vacant and empty. His eyes show no soul inside.
            I lost everything including me x

        2. Thank you for summarizing all your posts so beautifully. This is my Aspie to a tee. He should come with a warning label. Sadly he has no idea of the emotional/mental tsunami he inflicts on me and everyone in his life, nor does he care.

        3. Lucy, it sounds like your Aspie husband may have narcassitic personality disorder. Most Aspie’s do not act in the way you describe nor is your advice to “run” helpful for most of us NT’s. Do your research into Cluster B Narcassitic Personality Disorder. If that’s indeed what your in a relationship with, get out and stay out.

          1. I wish it were this easy to understand Narcissism. Reading about NPD gives you some inkling of the full blown disorder. But I wouldn’t dismiss the narcissism that we experience with others who are not diagnosed (or diagnosable). We are all capable of behaving badly, selfishly, and self-absorbed. It takes a lot courage and study to take the high road.

            I developed the Empathy Dysfunction Scale (EmD) to help recognize the elements of narcissism we encourager in others (and ourselves). EmD-1 is Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is a tough one to treat and deserves the warning label. But there is also EmD-2 Severe Mental Illness, and EmD-3 Alcoholism, etc. When empathy is hit or miss relationships founder.

            I reserve EmD-0 for High Functioning Autism. While it can feel as if your ASD loved one is NPD, their self-absorption is not intended to cause harm, as it is with the Narcissistic Personality Disorder. They may still cause emotional distress because of their inability to relate. And they can become quite angry and belligerent with the frustration of misunderstanding you, and being misunderstood. But the big difference is that they can learn and want to learn how to improve.

            Just because your ASD loved one doesn’t mean to harm you, though, doesn’t mean that you allow abuse. Never allow abuse. But offer professional guidance to your ASD Loved one, if they will take it.

  9. My Asperger’s partner walked out on me and our 2yr old son last week but before hand we was talking about our future together, he made me a love song which he sang on his hands and knees, he took me to expensive restaurant to treat me But then he stayed out at his parents where his dad is dying from cancer and he came back in a mood with me, I asked him for hug and told him I had missed him he pushed me away and said he doesn’t want a hug from me and that it feels weird touching me and that he can’t take it no more, he put that he was single on Facebook I give him something to eat and left him alone, next day he woke up he didn’t calm down over night instead he got his clothes and left us and went back to his parents and now he’s saying he doesn’t love me or want to be with me but if this was true why did he do all that he did for me just the other week before he left

    1. I am so sorry that you are going through this Sarah. Your boyfriend is a very confused man and the explanation is probably ASD. He can’t cope with the intense emotions he is experiencing, so he has shut down and actually regressed. “Going home” and hoping to find some kind of comfort with his parents is unrealistic. His father is dying and things will definitely change. But it sounds like he has no idea how to move forward with this pain.

      1. Stumbling on this website has felt like such a relief. I’ve been feeling like I’m going mad with frustration. I’ve been with my highly intelligent boyfriend for 8 months and this is the second time he has ceased all communication with me for days on end without an explanation.

        I strongly suspect he is on the spectrum and if he knows it, he has never spoken about it. He has a strong distrust of therapy because when I mentioned I might start going to counseling to address my anxiety, he rubbished the idea.

        I have tried reaching out to him, first via texts, which he mostly ignored and then said that he is now unsure of whether he wishes to continue in our relationship. This came as a shock to me as I really thought we were on the same page. Now I’m not sure we’re even in the same book. We were fine up till last week but then something happened (an anxiety attack on my part), which sent him running for the hills. I sent him an email yesterday trying to communicate with him that I now understand how he is wired, without mentioning any autism disorder. Just to take some of the pressure off him and telling him to take all the time and space he needs while assuring him that I was calm and here for him when he is ready.

        However he still has not responded in any way and I’m in a constant state of anxiety as I can’t help feeling rejected.

        I keep going over his characteristics and they all add up. Very particular eating habits. Strong daily routines and an aversion to change. Poor emotional communication. Low empathy. Other quirks. He is an extraordinarily private person and compliments make him really uncomfortable especially about his numerous achievements. And most of all this shutting down after he is triggered by something.

        It’s been almost a week since the last trigger and I don’t know what more I can do. I love him dearly and am beside myself with anxiety. I myself am having trouble just getting through my day. This page has made me realize there are others like me and it is somewhat comforting.

        At the back of my mind is the gnawing feeling of what if he isn’t on the spectrum and is just being an uncaring selfish asshole?

        Any insights would be appreciated. Thank you.

    2. I feel for you Sarah, I am so sorry you are going through this! Much love to you and your little one. My husband who is an Aspie did the same to me when his mum was sick with cancer and passed away. It was like a switch flipped in him. He immediately went into midlife crisis mode but to the extreme. He went from loving me to cutting me out of his life behaving like he was single, telling me things had changed and he never loved me.
      Please, take your focus off him and onto you and your child. As hard as it is your mental and physical well-being is very important during this time for you to be able to cope. Surround yourself with your ‘tribe’ that care and love you. Be kind to yourself, seek support and bring calmness to your life as best you can.
      The more I went towards him, the worse it got, the more I couldn’t do anything right, the more I became the enemy.
      He has his family, he has to work through his fear and anxiety which would be extreme at the moment.
      You need to be there for you and your child.
      I knew deep down he loved me, I loved him but I could not keep subjecting myself to the pain and rejection. I had done nothing wrong. So I took a big step back from my relationship with him and a big step towards my relationship with me.
      I believe that is what turned my relationship and for the better.
      We have a happy ending, he came back to me and we are still together, he worked through his grief, which was an extremely difficult time for the both of us. I feel stronger mentally now.
      I just wanted to share with you, so you don’t feel so alone.
      I hope you are safe and well x

    3. They Discard, just Like Narcissist. next month will be 5 long years married.. 2 weeks ago we were putting offers in to buy a home.. 3 days later after we didn’t get the home ,I woke up and he handed me divorce papers. Nothing was wrong ( that I knew of) he is hyper critical at everything I do, it has to be done his way or its wrong. He is cold cruel and he refused to go get diagnosed. It is going to take me awhile to pick up all the destruction he left behind.. he has caused us so many problems .. to me it is not worth staying or fighting because they cant change long term.. they are who they are.. we will be the ones that have to change everything to be with them and Im not interested in spending the rest of my life on egg shells.. you should consider the same.. you will live a life of constant rejection.. nobody deserves that..

      1. I’m reading the comments, all of them are close to my reality and yours is the closest. I’ve been in a relationship for 9 months and besides being incredibly smart, he’s been giving me the silent treatment for 2 days. He only talked to me to gaslight me and ignores all my messages. Yours is the closest because anything I suggest, he shuts me down.
        When I made comments about some traits related to ADHD and ASD, because truly I believed I was going to help him being aware of all the traits and so on, he got REALLY angry, said I was being toxic, and that I could not diagnose him because it’s not my specialty. Then, silent treatment completely. My intention was never offend, diagnose or whatever. It was just help our relationship to get better (I believe it’s been perfect to him). Now I feel guilty and keep thinkinf if I were toxic, and have to deal with his indifference. Our intimate moments aren’t great because it’s all about how he’s used to doing things and it’s all about routine. He’s not willing to take suggetions, and when I say something, it’s like I said nothing, he completely ignores it.
        It is difficult to imagine our relationship getting better because it feels likeI can’t say anything negative, that he’ll shut me down, otherwise he feels free to criticize me whenever he wants, and with jokes. I also believe that it might not get better because two people need to talk and adjust to be in a relationship, and that shows he can’t talk about anything that makes him uncomfortable. I don’t want to be the only one to compromise. He’s so resistant to being diagnosed, he refuses clearly. He has a psychologist who reinforces some of his behaviors. Once he told me she doesn’t believe psychopaths exist, that it is an illusion. And he takes all she says as a big rule for everything.
        I’m sorry by any mistake. I’m Brazilian.

        1. Whether you are Brazilian, or French, or South African, we all know what it is like to live with “Aspies. It’s tough and if they won’t work with us, then it all falls apart.

      2. I totally relate to this . My husband – it’s his way and the wrong way .
        He has left us for the second time and has discarded me ( as have his family ) after 25 years and 4 children .
        People split up – he says like it’s nothing .
        He is cold doesn’t talk and does not listen and is super anxious all the time .

        i feel I have wasted years on this man who blames me for his misery yet i have devoted my life to our family .

        I will divorce him now as I don’t trust him . Anyway he ignores my existence so It’s all I can do .

  10. Reading these responses make me feel both calm and sad. I suspect my husband is an undiagnosed aspie. In fact, I think the signs were all there and his folks just never paid attention to them. I also think one or both of his parents are on the spectrum but that’s a tale for another time…

    I’ve been married for less than a year and already I have found myself in the vicious cycle of being ignored repeatedly. It always has to do with me needing his help and him refusing to stop gaming to provide it, or reluctantly doing so and blaming me for ruining his game. I’m doing 99% of the chores and getting groceries etc. He’d go to work, game, shower and sleep. That’s his routine. Any proposed disruption is met with “no”, “I don’t want to”.

    I’ve had this conversation with him many times. He can’t just put his wife away on hold while gaming takes priority all the time! He’d either change the topic or try to distract me by doing something nice. He can’t handle actually thinking of the topic itself.

    Today I walked out and came back to my parents’ house because I feel punished and abused. Why is asking for help from my own husband, to let me know how fill a government form, such a crime that I’m ignored?

    1. You are not asking for too much, but your husband needs a good therapist too. Apparently he does not have the skills necessary to create a loving relationship. A good therapist would help him set a schedule for gaming for example. Or she would help him learn some Rules of Engagement. The problem for people on the Spectrum is that they think of love as a thing rather than a dynamic process. In other words, since he loves you, why does he have to show it. In his world, gaming during every free minute has nothing do with his love. Don’t settle for less than having a gentleman for a husband.

      1. Thank you so much. A lot of times, my mother advises me by asking “have you tried …?” Or she’ll say “you have to do…!” And usually all those are what I have done, which makes me feel worse about myself. It makes me feel I’ve not done enough to deserve being loved. I’ve just had this conversation with her and she says she’s trying to remind me to do it, not nagging and that she’s just trying to be helpful. But it does put the pressure on me to do something about it

        I’ve mentioned counselling before. He’s reluctant to admit that there’s a problem. When we started the relationship, I mentioned to him and his folks that some things aren’t right but I was told to embrace their family quirks rather than trying to change them. I fear I won’t be good enough to change him or guide him to face his problems.

        1. If people truly understood what we live with, they wouldn’t offer platitudes. Try to remember that these suggestions come from a desire to help, but also a false belief that all you have to do is put your mind to it — and all will be fixed. This false belief is based upon a need to feel safe in the world. People generally feel safe if they believe they can solve all problems. We know that many problems cannot be fixed. But what we can do, is be authentic and build a meaningful life.

  11. Hi there,I have been with my Aspergers partner for over 1 year. He told me from the initial beginning of our relationship that he has Aspergers syndrome. I wasn’t aware of the condition, but did my slight bit of research.

    He has given me the silent treatment a few time which I called him up on,. This eventually caused arguement due to misunderstanding.
    Just recently 1 month ago we went on a trip together and he blew up on me for saying no to an excursion. He also gave me the silent treatment the who day. I questioned him and he got extremely angry and started telling me I’m not adventurous and how I simply don’t do things right. I was completely caught if guard and told him he wasn’t making any sense. And that he was being a bully and abusive. We returned back home, (live separately) and since then his told me to have time apart to think this through. He doesn’t message or call. Which makes me feel I’m unwanted but he stated he loves me..
    His end point was that, this time apart will help me in knowing if I want to be in a relationship with him, as he will not be able to give me what I want in terms empathy, affection etc… from that point onwards I started to understand that he has actually taken time to reflect on his behaviour and doesn’t want to ruin my life or make me unhappy, as he is not going to be able to change his ways

    I love him dearly. He is extremely caring, loyal and goes out his way to make me feel special at times. Only when he has some sort of an emotional meltdown his goes silent. I feel me and him will not meet for a few months as that what his intention seems to be like. I have tried to Express my feelings to him and he shut me down saying he doesn’t want to hear it. I feel he does that as he is trying to save himself from an emotional breakdown? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    I’ve made it very evident to him that I love him and want to be with him. To try and understand him better. I feel the ball is in his hands now. So it’s a matter of waiting to see when he is ready to talk. Again it all seems one way and him not taking consideration of my feelings etc..

    I feel I need to practice detachment which might help mine and his relationship work. But its difficult as I’m such a caring, loving compassionate person.

    I know he has the best interest of me and hence the reason why he initiated the time apart.

    It’s a challenge. Which I said to him once and he blew it all out of proportion

    I feel lost. Days where I day to myself, why even bother with the hardship and better to just let go and move on. On the other hand I want to pursue the relationship and work on it.

    I sometimes feel his a narcissistic person, but then I remind myself his an Aspie

    1. Hi Rosh. One thing you might do is appeal to his sense of fairness. Explain to him that he has the right to take time for himself if he needs to. However, he does not have the right to make this decision for the other person (you). You are a free human being who can decide for herself if she wants time apart or if she wants to be in this relationship. He has no right to take that decision away from you. “Aspies” don’t ask themselves about how you feel about things, so we need to point it out in a way they will understand. It’s not just that you love him, but you have free will to decide what you want.

    2. Dear Rosh, I’m in the exact same situation. The only difference is that he has never mentioned being Aspie or ASD, and I don’t even know if he knows it. How have things developed with you a year later? Hope you are well whatever happened.

    3. You are walking a tightrope. Marriage and children will bring out more of the issues. You He will NEVER be able to empathize. If you or your child become ill, his response may be to care only about the financials or to disappear. He will not want to discuss your tender feelings. He doesn’t care. He can’t do feelings at all. My spouse was like your bf in the beginning. Unless you live in Utopia or Disneyland, he will not maintain or learn. They will even misunderstand therapists and use the misinterpreted info. to uphold their “unintentional” abuse behaviors. They need very specialized therapists. They are very good at lying when it comes to not getting into trouble. It is not true that they can’t lie. They are not good at hiding lies but they are good at confusing you so you no longer know which way is up. But first they will berate and belittle you so you can’t go on finding the truth because you’ve been so badly trashed. I wish I could be positive. I really do.

  12. I’ve never been so happy to come across this page. Something terrible happened to me and my partner last week but mainly to me, a violation of my privacy and my partner who is aspie felt as though his pride was damaged and now blames me for what has happened. He is giving me the silent treatment and I am completely devastated. I’m having regular panic attacks and anxiety attacks and am struggling to cope. He gives me glimmers of hope and then takes them away again. He’s my absolute everything and my whole life and future is with him. I am completely helpless and i have no idea what to do. Please please help me someone.

    1. February 3, 2021 / 1:08 pm (MST)
      Dear Victoria,
      I hear your pain and share your feelings of devastation. If you’d like to talk with someone who’s experiencing similar stress, I’m here. I’ll listen.
      Please take care. Hope to hear from you.
      Edmonton, Alberta

  13. In the beginning, it was nice that my autistic partner (now ex) noticed the little things about me. They were excited to spend time with me, open and healthy. Things eventually got weird. I first noticed that they seemed to act fake almost? Sometimes they would try to be what they thought people around them wanted them to be. I was outside of their social group but it seemed they were pretending to know stuff that only people in my group might know, if that makes sense. We have terminology that my ex obviously didnt know the meaning of, but used context clues to guess, and even though they guessed wrong, they would argue with me when I told them they were mistaken. Actually, admitting they didnt know something actually became a common and exhausting theme. It wore me down because it seemed so insecure. They frequently acted “hard” and insecure. Example: Double handed slapping my rear end to establish dominance when I was talking to a pretty girl once, hard enough I almost fell in her lap. Maybe that’s why I started to pull away. All the acting and insecurities.

    I soon found we didn’t have anything to talk about. When I tried to open up about deep and painful stuff, they just said, “hmm.” It really hurt. They tell a lot when they get mad. They would always say “yelling is not abuse” but I think that’s wrong. Their yelling was loud and scary and it triggered my PTSD. Once I gave them an attitude and they tried to tone police me, although they were just talking to me like that too. So I asked, “so it’s okay for you to do that to others, but others can’t do that to you?” And they said “Yes.” I told them that was hypocritical and they didnt have anything to say but were mad as hell.

    We broke up over something so stupid. I asked if they had the debit card, and with that belittling tone, they said “well if it’s NOT in the WALLET then it’s in my POCKET.” As if I was so dumb because I didn’t know that most obvious logic. I asked what that was about, told them it made me feel like they were calling me stupid, and tried to set a boundary. They started screaming at me at the drive through window taco place. So embarrassing. They triggered my ptsd and I started interrupting them telling them I didnt want to be screamed at, yes I stopped listening because they started screaming, went on defense and never responded to or respected my boundary. They gave me the silent treatment for hours, fell asleep, and as customary for them, woke up as I was drifting off to scream at me for not talking to them (obviously forgetting conversation is a 2 way street). Again I said that I would talk if they would stop yelling. They went silent. The next morning they were angrier. They wanted to fight. So I told them to leave. I just couldn’t do it. I have PTSD from childhood abuse and they severely triggered me in so many ways. I know they don’t mean harm but they are harmful to me. I hope they can find peace. This was 4 days ago and I’m venting, sorry.

    1. Hi im greatful to read all of this comments im in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend for 3 years now and the start was pretty good and I didn’t know he has aspergers until 6 months into our relationship. I went through a lot of silent treatments and neglect but whats worse is that he cheated on me. The whole 3 years he was sexting other people whilst pretending to be a girl and when i found out he told me he loved me and won’t do it again and that it was his only outlet because no one knows he is bi. I forgive him for that but i often notice him lying about something to me. He would lie that he’s asleep but he’s awake and ignoring my calls or texts. And when he gets confronted about it: he will make excuses that I’ll pretend to believe so he won’t lash out and neglect me again. Its a continue process and its been a week and it feels like he doesn’t want to text or call me anymore but he does say he loves me and even made baby names for our future with me. He has no friends and only has me. But i found out he has a secret account where he’s liking tiktoks of sexy girls dancing but he would be mad at me for talking about a boyband i like and unfollow every celebrity on my Instagram because he says he was jealous (we used to share accounts) and this made us fight and now we are definitely not ok. I feel like he broke my trust and i dont know if i could trust him again. We are meeting after COVID and I really want to see him and i still love him but i dont know how to cope with him being this way. When I asked him why he did all of it he says because he was horny and we always overthink. It was because he’s always sad around me and i always have to assure him through his meltdowns. I dont know what to do because it hurts being ignored and i overthink a lot that he has somebody new. But i just want us to be ok and go back to normal. If i try to confront him or ask him not to do it ever again or ask to compromise he would shut himself and isolate himself more to me and sometimes would have suicidal tendencies telling me he can never do anything right and that he ruins everything. I dont know what to do but i need help because i want to stay with him but i also dont want him to ignore me and i dont know how to cope.

  14. Im going through a hard time at the moment. Ive been with my husband 21 years, married 3.
    He wont go to the drs…he definitely has aspergers. He blows over the smallest thing…. i live on eggshells….his moods can come on instantly from nowhere. He got upset that i had a credit card he didn’t know about…im a 36 year old woman! Its like im not allowed anything. He hasnt spoken to me for over 2 weeks now….comes home late….sleeps on sofa….goes to work early. Its happened before….and it usually takes me to approach him. But I haven’t this time. I need the break away from it all. Ive been happier the last 2 weeks… im not put down or shouted at….its been wonderful.
    No matter what he does for me or buys me….he throws it back at me. I just cant carry on like this…..
    What man ignores his wife and family? (Our pets are our children). I have no words.

  15. I have gotten to know a girl with Autism but what would be called Asperger’s a couple of years ago. She is really competent on the social behavior and I forgot her diagnoses often.

    We chatted everyday for more than a month and talked on the phone for hours on end a couple of times a week.

    I was supposed to meet her in her hometown (2hrs drive for me) and that got cancelled the same day because of Covid-related reasons.
    After that she has not responded to my messages, and I have ADHD and GAD so this really made me spiral into one of my worst weeks this year.
    We are still friends on FB and she still follows me on Instagram, but just puts me on read and not responding.

    I hope that there is a future where we can communicate again because it felt like it went so well and she really seemed to enjoy me. Like we could be on a call but not having to even speak, which to me tells me she enjoyed my company without me having to entertain all the time.

    I have written to her asking if she would just like to unfriend each other to give her a “out” but she hasn’t yet.
    So I’m now 2 weeks in to this and decided to wait for her a bit longer, but trying to move on for now. But I’m sad because her company was a very positive thing in my life. She is the one instigating most of our chatting in the first place.

    1. I am sorry you are suffering. Let me help a little. People on the Autism Spectrum have a difficult time maintaining a relationship because they just don’t think about you when you are not around. We NTs know who we are in relation to others, so we constantly assess our reality according to other people, even total strangers and famous people. That’s why Mark Zuckerberg made a fortune with Facebook. But for Autists it’s out of sight, out of mind. Another important point to remember is that it’s a lot of work for Autists to create the illusion of socializing. They create a mask for the rest of us, but anyone will tire eventually if they have to pretend constantly. It’s hard to say if this woman is really interested in you, but in any case, don’t work so hard. Love should be a joy.

  16. I’ve lived this and could not take anymore after 5 years of hell! Autism aside, this behavior is abusive. It won’t change. Get out. It is not too late.

  17. After seven months of making my BF feel amazing (as he put it everyday), I literally got flowers one time on my bday and told I was pretty only on that day. Cooked for him non stop, bought him little gifts, embraced his kids etc. Great sex but no affection. He told me when I first met him that he had ‘limitations’ and was dysfunctional. Has an amazing job and extremely successful. Frugal with money. Very very insecure where my friends and family noticed. Got upset if I said he was good at anything. Very hard on himself. But, I fell in love Most honest man you could meet. I know he’s incapable of lying. Fast forward to Thanksgiving when I was cooking (plus the expense of it all) for he and his kids and he brought a bottle of wine he knows I won’t drink and even said, I know you won’t drink this. It was just the totality of feeling taken for granted and unappreciated. He asked me a month before, how are you feeling about me and my behavior. He knew he was relaxed, he didn’t have to audition anymore and he was starting to snap at me, become more insensitive etc. I told him the day after Thanksgiving that I felt these things. He decided the next day, it was over. Leave him be, I was never going to be happy with him, he warned me he was like this. Completely shut off from even asking me, how can I make you happy. Simple things he just said he was not going to do or change for me or anyone. I of course begged, pleated and apologized because of my abandonment issues to no avail. I did ask him if he had Aspergers and that’s when all the blocking happened. Here’s my question. I’ve done so much research on line and his father had it pretty badly and his older son has been diagnosed. How likely is this to skip generations??? I’m accepting that it’s over. It’s been two months and as much as I love him, I know he’s capable of doing this again when any conflict arises. I hurt him and he has recoiled to a point of no return. Does Aspergers skip generations?

    1. Does Asperger’s skip generations? Not that I am aware of. However your boyfriend’s behavior is not OK. If he is unwilling to work on developing more interpersonal skills, you will always feel alone.

  18. I’m getting the silent treatment today. Yesterday I hurt my husband’s feeling when I asked him to stop speaking while I was driving. Usually we listen on the radio (NPR) and I had thought (wrongly, it turned out) that he knew one function of the radio was to prevent distracting conversation. Feeling bad, I googled the problem and came upon this article. Armed with this info, I told I was sorry I hurt his feelings. That I was sorry for all the times I had hurt his feelings. He said “you couldn’t possibly be that sorry.” I told him I didn’t want to be a hurtful person, that I wanted to be someone he felt safe around. We’ll see. He’s not that far on the spectrum and I think things will be better by dinner time. I’ve been with him for 35 years so we’ve made it work. The best times are when we travel together. Then we are both on the same wavelength. Also, a weekly lunch date is helpful. Also taking walks together. The silent treatment is painful, but it helps to remember that it’s not my fault. My “crimes” are just a function of his way of thinking combined with his paper thin skin. I find following my own silent pursuits, yoga and meditation, help me recenter. He loves me, just not right now. And when he comes out of it he won’t even know that it was painful for me, and that’s okay.

  19. I am going through this now and have been for months. It got worse because my wife went through a period of depression and started taking antidepressants and I think that makes it even worse. There is no intimacy, no closeness, nothing. She stays in the bedroom all the time. The only time we have any contact is dinner and it is as quick as she can get away back to the bedroom. I deal constantly with snide behaviour and short remarks. I can’t say anything without an attitude coming back at me. At New Year, she said she wanted space and would not talk. This is the third month since then and nothing. I don’t know what to do. I love her but there is nothing left between us and it all started with those pills. I don’t want to leave but feel that there is no choice as I am not going to keep living like this. I can’t.

    1. Interesting. My bf takes antidepressants and I suspect he is on the spectrum. Everything was great the first two months then he shut down affection and sex and now he says he wants to be alone. I think the meds are making things worse

    2. Not sure what you said is ASD. Could just as well be depression. There are spouses of ASD who can behave this way because the relationship can create depression. Many ASD actually do better with sertraline, an antidepressant, because they lack seratonin, so maybe you’re dealing with something else. If mine didn’t take sertraline, our marrserotonin, definitively be over or I would be dead.

    3. Same here with my wife. I feel I am living with a zombie. She doesn’t seek any interaction with me be it emotionally physically or intellectually. Unlike I see from many comments, she stays extremely composed and is taking care of our three children. When addressed I get zero response or I get gaslighted. It’s wearing me down and I can’t escape since the housing market here is tight and extremely costly. I feel I am doomed. Don’t know how to overcome this problem. And everything is my fault. She remembers things fro years ago.

  20. I am getting the silent treatment at the moment. We have been together for over 2 years. A few weeks ago I asked my boyfriend to go and stay with his parents for a while as I needed some space to focus on myself and my son. I was struggling to deal with his alcoholism and depression. I try to be understanding and compassionate and he has said that he’s lucky to have me, and he loves me. It was going ok for us for a couple of weeks – we saw each other at weekends. Then suddenly he started drinking again and saying really hurtful things when drunk. He apologised the next day and we talked through it. I have been thinking hard about what I want in the future. There have been a few things like him still being on dating sites and sexual messages with an ex-work colleague but we have talked through and I have forgiven him. However, he still doesn’t want me on social media and I haven’t met his parents. I communicated to him that I was feeling like he doesn’t see a future with me. I was thinking that if I’m going to try and support him, I need to have some assurance that he wants to take our relationship seriously! He has said that he wants to have children with me but then has also been on dating sites. I’m confused. He can’t lie very well. I figured it was bad timing because he blocked me 2 days later. It’s nearly been 2 weeks since I’ve heard from him. I don’t know whether this is the end?! or how much space do I give him?

    1. Addiction and ASD do not mix well. Both are Empathy Dysfunctions. Never all this type of abuse. As tough as it is for you, it is long overdue for you to detach and look out for yourself and your son.

  21. Thank god for this site, I am sane! I have spent 10 years with an undiagnosed aspie, it was only when I started googling his behaviour from something on the tele, that I found out about aspie’s.

    He finally walked out on me two weeks before my birthday, a couple of months ago, I am self employed and was not back to work properly because of lockdown, so this has caused me terrible anxiety.

    He on the other hand after giving me years of the silent treatment, treating me with contempt on and off, mainly off, mood swings, temper tantrums, has found his newly setup business has thrived in lockdown and rented himself a beautiful house and moved all his stuff out and ended our relationship saying we would be both better off with someone else!

    At first my anxiety and insecurity went through the roof, two months later I am still suffering with anxiety but not as bad, but now feel so much anger and hate of this selfish narcissistic man, who had no though for me what so ever.

    If I hadn’t been sucked in by his showering of gifts, complements and attentive behaviour (obviously all from a text book) which stopped as soon as he moved in, I would of ran a mile.

    He has left me traumatised by the ten years of this lonely abuse, I just want to heal my self now and would love to meet someone who is warm loving and genuine.

  22. My bf was wonderful in the beginning. Showered me with tons of presents. In fact he went overboard. I’m a writer, and he wanted to read everything I’ve ever written. I’m also an actress and he wanted to see all my work. Complimented me constantly.
    Then he got weird. Got defensive over nothing. I was making conversation in an IM and he took it as an insult.
    Next conflict was him stopping me in mid conversation to say he was bored by what I was talking about. I got hurt. But I realized cuz of his reaction to my pain that he didn’t mean to hurt me.
    I showed screenshots of our convos to my friends. They were the ones who thought he might be on the spectrum.
    I watched videos. Researched. Tried to learn everything I could. Changed how I communicated with him and stopped taking his bluntness personally. That helped.
    But then he withdrew sex and affection saying he felt off. I tried seducing cannot believe how much it hurts to get turned down.
    I finally asked if he wasn’t attracted to me and he said it isn’t me. He just isn’t feeling great. When I suggested he see his Dr, he got mad at me and defensive.
    His mental state is his business and it isn’t about you and nobody is entitled to insights into his mental state etc.
    I told him I thought we should take some space so he can figure out what’s going on. But I also told him you can’t have a healthy relationship if you don’t see how your mental state affects your partner!
    I was ok w taking space cuz we still texted a cpl times a day. I tried to be loving and supportive. I said I wanted to work things out with him. He said we would when he got out of this rut he’s in.
    Sunday he stopped replying to my texts. I freaked out cuz he’s depressed and he owns weapons.
    I finally tried to explain that his silence made me anxious and I needed to know if he is ok. He said he’s ok but not talking to anyone cuz he’s in his head and disconnected.
    I asked if he could just send me an emoji daily so I know he’s ok
    No reply
    Silence again.
    He can’t even be bothered to send me an emoji
    I find out a few days later he was still talking to his best friend. I guess I’m the only one he wasn’t talking to. I felt lied to and discarded. I also wondered if there is someone else.
    I got pretty upset today and he texted me back. He was mad that I contacted his friend ( I did it cuz I wanted advice how to handle this. I was a nervous mess. ) He said there is no one else. He wants to be alone and no pressure to have to explain or defend his state of mind. Reiterated that his depression is not my problem
    Reading ppls posts here makes me feel I should run. He seems incapable of understanding the effect his depression and shutting me out has on me.

    1. This sounds exactly like my lunatic ex.. except he was very arrogant. Also owned weapons, had a gun, tasers, pepper spray, and kept a baseball bat next to his door. But lives in a luxury building in a nice area. Very paranoid. used P.O. boxes and gives people fake phone numbers when he first meets them. Doesn’t let any friends know the door code to his apartment building and has to let them in. He supposedly had many stalkers, told elaborate stories and his ex’s were supposedly all too needy or crazy (red flags I wish I noticed early on). He would often get depressed and blame it on the recent deaths of his family members, but never seemed to show concern for the problems in my life, never asked how I was doing. In the beginning things were amazing. He spent over 100 grand in a couple months on international trips and presents, we had a lot in common, and shared very niche shared passions. I fell in love and thought we were soulmates. Young guy in his 20’s. He ghosted me out of the blue after one fight / tantrum he created, and stopped answering my messages, and never even broke up with me. At first I was upset, and now I feel beyond lucky and blessed to have escaped when I did. Escaped after only a few months of dating and thank god no marriage / kids. I feel so sorry for some of the women here. I never thought about aspergers until I saw him dance, he would flap his hands around and it reminded me of autism. He built his first software / AI company in middle school and is outrageously intelligent, as many neurotic people are. But the negatives far outweighed the positives.

      My biggest advice to you all is to research trauma bonding. I am not saying that everyone with mental disabilities / personality disorders is toxic, but toxic relationships are hard to escape from. Figure out sooner than later if you are in one, and get out before it gets even harder to leave. Love is like a drug, and you don’t want to become addicted to the wrong person. Also, remember that any normal person could act crazy or develop anxiety when subjected to passive aggression, hot and cold behavior for too long, don’t be hard on yourself for being a human.

  23. I honestly think that aspies care only for their own interests and how things are for them – they care for others only when it is to their benefit -otherwise. others or their feelings are of no interest to them . . It’s as if they just don’t get that other people matter. They dispose of people. with no regard to how they will be impacted . It’s not that they don’t care – it’s total. disregard for the feelings of others . They only care about themselves .It is a hard realisation to make but they will not change or see what harm and hurt they cause . My aspie husband still miserable having left but refuses to look at his own behaviours or get help . He runs for a hobby and runs from his life hoping to find something better – but he is still anxious because it’s about his disorder – that he refuses to address .Its a very complex self involved disorder and bad though it is for them – it is bad for their life partners .I still love my husband but wonder why -he has rejected me , been cold ,cruel , dismissive and disposed of me .It is right that the marriage should end because it will be another 20 years of same casual unkindness.
    Look after you – he won’t .

    1. So my now ex, went into a burnout. He said I came down on him hard, which I personally don’t think. I have told him I love him, that I want to work things out and willing to stand by his side. Today he basically told me to leave bowing gracefully and if I didn’t he’d pack my things and my children’s and dump them on the doorstep of my house. We were planning a future and I was meant to move in with him. This is the second time he has left the relationship even through he has said on many occasions that he won’t find anyone better then me. I understand it’s is autism but it hurts me because I love him dearly but he can’t see a future with me.
      I have known him for two years and in the relationship a year. We are amazing together when times are good but any criticism he can’t take. I’m afraid I have hurt him too much for him to come back. The silent treatment is devastating.

    2. I totally Agree with all of your post. 32 years later I have turned myself inside out trying to please my Aspie husband and doing what he likes. Totally selfish behavior that only revolves around his needs. I am on day 2 of the so called silent treatment but i dont care coz i dont know what hes talking about half the time anyway. As for discard that has happend about 10 years now. The pain and trauma that these people bring to your life Will make you doubt your very own self. Over the years I have learned to live my life and be me. My grown sons also comment on how Much workshop their father is!
      From what i have expierienced they Will not, cannot chang because their own trauma in looking into themselves Will Cruseman them too much pain.

  24. I am 19 and have a boyfriend with ADHD and Asbergers and I am wondering if I can post something and have free access to delete it in the future if possible. I am looking for a little advice since he is my first boyfriend of 2 years now and I never had real advice as to how I can help him out for my particular circumstance. Im not really sure if I am overreacting, but I get worried whenever he behaves a certain way that makes me feel uncomfortable and worried for him. It is not a particularly serious problem, but it feels like it at times, as I can be overly sensitive. Thank you to whoever replies.

    1. Hi Rachel. Of course you can delete your posts. However, I also hope you wait to get some response. Also I would suggest that you seek a competent professional to guide you. Neuro-Divergent relationships are complex. Take care.

  25. You need to be Mother Theresa to stay in a relationship like this.
    If you are not married, and do not have kids, get past trying to save them. Maybe you can not see through healthy eyes because you have issues from your own past. This cycle never ends. You have to have no feelings to survive this.

  26. I started dating this guy for last few months. It started way too intense (from his side), Idk but maybe he “lovebombed” me, he would take me to the best restaurants, have best dates, talk everyday for hours… he invited me to meet his family. It was too good to be true. Someone in his family told me that he had ASD but he didn’t really tell me that or accepted that he also had some problems.

    It all was going very well, until one day I kind of found that he was lying about the location he was in, so I confronted him about it, and my mistake (I called him more than a few times in a row), he blocked my number. Then unblocked me and told me that how much of a big mistake it was on my part to call his number few times in a row. Now he thinks I am stalker (he believes in these conspiracy theories, his special interest). I apologized to him. Since then I have been trying to talk to him again and again. Yet he doesn’t seem interested in responding. He would talk about general stuff (like how is he doing), but never about relationship where I wanted to talk about how we can work things out. It’s been over a month now. I have had a few meltdowns already, I kinda of became way too emotional in front of him. He seems completely shut down. Not willing to talk/not willing to engage. I have amazing memories from last few months as it was my first ever relationship and I don’t even know what went wrong here. I have apologized to him a few times, but he just doesn’t seem to be interested in talking now. He has kind of ghosted me. It’s been a month already. What should I do?

    1. I’m an Aspie and we are easily stressed out from NTs incessant demands. NTs tend to be very dramatic when expressing emotions which feels like they are being manipulative. Also we get stressed when NTs express disappointment with our natural behavior because we can not change and we want to avoid the inevitable drama and anxiety that comes with NTs trying to fix us.

      If you want to try with him again he will most likely not comply, but If he is stop open to it you will need to chill out, do not be critical of him in any way, do not ask for anything, do not pressure him to do activities, do not contact him unless it’s to offer him something of comfort, and everything has to seem like his idea so pose things you want in a way that will allow him to come to his own conclusions.

      1. Thank you for having the courage to comment on this tough subject. I think you did an excellent job of expressing the perspective of an Autist. Often the silent treatment is an attempt to quell one’s emotional distress, even if it comes off as abusive. Also I want you to consider that what you perceive as “demands,” or “very dramatic” expressions of emotions by NTs is perceived quite differently by NTs. Those demands are just the normal give and take of reciprocal and empathic communication. The very dramatic emotions are just the comfort of expressing emotions along with ideas, whereas “Aspies” tend to keep these things separate as if they are unrelated. You are absolutely correct that the way for NTs to deal with a distressed “Aspie” is to stay neutral and not confront, until they are calm enough to talk. But the conversation may be aborted yet again by a meltdown. Or the conversation may never come, out of the “Aspie” fear they will be overwhelmed again. It’s a tragic conundrum isn’t it?

      2. “NTs tend to be very dramatic when expressing emotions which feels like they are being manipulative.“

        NTs are not “being dramatic.” They are naturally expressing valid emotions in a normal, healthy way. Most Aspies don’t understand regular human emotions, and statements like that just prove the point. Truth bomb:

        It doesn’t matter if it “feels like” NTs are “being manipulative” to you, it only matters if they ARE being manipulative. The way you feel has no bearing on reality. Your thoughts and wants and opinions are NOT reality; they are simply your perception of reality. And guess what!? Your perception of reality is inherently flawed. That isn’t subjective, it’s a fact.

        Consider it this way: Aspies can see, taste, touch, smell, and hear. NTs can see, taste, touch, smell, hear, and connect. It is like Aspies are literally missing a sense. If you were blind, you (probably) wouldn’t tell a seeing person that sight isn’t real. You would be blind – which is ok – but it would be absurd to deny that others can see. It would be idiotic to deny the existence of sight, or to deem sight unimportant. Why, then, would a mind-blind person make ignorant and judgmental statements about NTs? Just because you can’t connect like NTs doesn’t mean that human connection isn’t real. Calling NTs dramatic and manipulative for things you don’t experience is delusional. I’m just being honest and blunt. Sound familiar?

        I’ve lived with an aspie (as a roomate only) for years and realized long ago that he is incapable of self reflection or accepting responsibility for his actions. He blames everyone but himself for his mistakes. He believes himself to be highly intelligent (which he isn’t) and is very judgmental of others. He tries to brush off anything and everything he doesn’t want to deal with. He tries to belittle everything he can’t understand. He’s an enormous man-baby with misogynistic tendencies. It’s disgusting. He’s a pathological liar who thinks he’s the center if the universe. He uses people and genuinely believes he is owed something by others. He will always be alone because he can’t understand normal emotions, though he thinks it’s because women are stupid. Or being dramatic? Or manipulative? He isn’t wired to connect, therefore, connecting isn’t real or important.

        He is a relative of my partner, so I’m not stuck with him, nor him with me. It’s just an arrangement of convenience for all of us. He can’t stand me and I don’t care. The feeling is mutual. Make no mistake…I don’t blame his ASD for him being an a**hole. He’s just an a**hole with ASD, and in this case those things aren’t mutually exclusive.

        When he makes sexist judgments I call him out. When he lies or tries to get out of chores I make him do them by staying in his face until he does. He resents it, but too bad. I don’t ask, or beg, or plead with him…I let him know directly there will be no peace until he meets his responsibilities. Yes, it’s 100% forced compliance and it works. I’m not sorry and I don’t feel sorry for him. He can be as angry (and silent!) as he wants…but he still has to do the dishes when its his turn. He wants me to leave him alone more than he wants to avoid the dishes, so i make sure the dishes get done. He can pout all day. He isn’t owed anything. That’s reality. If given the option he is more than content to do nothing. When that option is removed, he is entirely capable of contributing equally. Imagine that! He does most chores now automatically. He does the dishes and I leave him alone to play video games.

        NTs have no right to be mean or manipulative to aspies. It’s not cool. Aspies often have special needs and deserve compassion and help to meet those needs. Just please remember that NTs have needs too. They need connection, or at the very least acknowledgment that connection is real and important. Keep that in mind, even if you don’t understand or care about it.

        1. One thing that might help the translation in Conversational Aspergian is to recognize the purely observational intent behind the quoted “Aspie” comment. If NTs appear dramatic and manipulative to ASDs. And ASDs appear cold, and self absorbed to NTs could it be the NeuroDivergence? By NeuroDivergence I mean NT and ASD pulling in polar opposite directions.

          1. That’s a valid point. There’s a big difference between unable and unwilling, and misunderstandings and animosity certainly widen the gap. I’m simply tired of the coddling that so often accompanies these situations. The person I mentioned was – and still is – coddled by many of his close relatives. It hasn’t done him any favors in life. He has zero respect for those people and is verbally abusive towards them. That doesn’t fly here. He is perfectly capable of doing things that others have done for him his entire life. I won’t baby him because he’s not a baby. I won’t accept his rigid thinking as fact when he can’t back up his opinions with facts. When he states his opinions (on others) as facts, and i question his reasoning, he deflects, tells flagrant lies, or changes the subject. I don’t pursue past that point. Its not worth the effort and he usually does not state that particular opinion again. If he genuinely can’t manage something, thats a different story and deserves my support. It’s just not the case most of the time. I know quite a few other ASD individuals who behave nothing like this. I work with people on the spectrum and am friends with people on the spectrum. This is different. His actions are overwhelmingly intentional. Bullying and tantrums have always worked for him. Notice I say tantrums, not meltdowns. They just don’t work on myself or my partner. I have a lot more compassion for those who make an effort, whether NT or ND. It’s interesting that he choses to live with us rather than the coddlers…though I honestly don’t know why.

            Perhaps my attitude does widen the divide. I’ve just stopped caring. I’m here and willing if he chooses to try to bridge the gap but won’t hold my breath. I accept that he naturally experiences the world differently. I accept that he thinks about things differently. I simply refuse to validate his selfish attitudes or inappropriate actions. I hold him accountable. Bridging the gap needs to be a joint effort. It’s not the automatic responsibility of NT people.

            Thank you for your response and insight!

      3. This encourages the NT person to change their behavior and suppress their emotions while allowing the ASD individual to continue the abuse. It’s not good advice.

  27. Why does the Aspie always get the blame? My wife and I are having a difficult time and I want to talk to her about it and work on things but she shuts me out. She isn’t ready. So what am I meant to do other than not talk to her? I want to tell her how I feel today, that I feel sad about how things are but I know that will make her feel anxious, so I have nothing to say. Yet that somehow that is my fault it seems because I am ND. Stop generalising you are doing people are disservice.

    1. Good observation Daniel. NTs can use the silent treatment too, for very similar reasons. When we don’t know what is going on, or we don’t feel heard, we can withdraw into silence. I remind people to take your down time in order to regroup emotionally. But always come back to work things out with your loved one. Unfortunately many use the silent treatment to get away from the distress and never return to resolve the problem with the other person. Let’s take a look at that word, with for a moment. Timing is important. If the other person isn’t ready yet to hear your feelings, then what you are supposed to do is give them the time to be ready. Then notice when there is an opening — and offer to listen instead of desperately try to discuss how you feel. Remember love is a conversation, not a transaction. I know this is complex but the goal is to be brave, face your own fears, and be there for the other person first.

  28. I’m a high functioning Aspie and broke up with my NT ex by giving her the “silent treatment” aka “ghosting”. NTs find this action offensive but it’s actually in their best interest. I did us both a favor by ending the suffering. Withdrawing from a stressful situation quickly deescalates and stops the source of pain.

    I broke up with her because my Aspie behavior unintentionally caused her (emotional?) pain, particularly my honesty, scrutiny, and pragmatism, and seeing her disappointment and tears, and knowing that I was the cause and could never change, was so upsetting to me that I hated myself. I loved her and wanted her to be happy so I tried constantly to pay attention to my thoughts, processing what was good to say, and which matching expressions to make. It was extremely exhausting and still not enough to keep her happy because I made mistakes and she would cry. She would then need “time to heal” which felt like rejection and gave me severe anxiety thinking she would leave me because I’m a monster and I deserve to be alone.

    The thought of interacting with her became increasingly stressful and the stress became physically debilitating, so I spent a lot of time in bed recovering from the pain (shut down).
    I explained this but like all other NTs she didn’t understand and assumed I was exaggerating. Aspie’s are constantly suffering but NT’s expect us to pretend everything is fine so they feel comfortable in their fake contrived mindless materialistic world.

    I was able to withdraw from the relationship without guilt or regret because it was the only way to stop me from hurting her.
    I could tell from her persistent texts, calls, and voicemails that she was upset and had a hard time moving on, but I felt more relieved every day.

    I camouflage extremely well and I can hide the Aspergers for the most part. However, the acting gets draining, fuel runs out, and traits shine through. I’m able to tone them down as a favor to my NT partners.

    A piece of advice to NT’s: don’t ever tell an Aspie “just be yourself”. You have no idea what that entails, you will regret it, and should only blame yourself when you don’t like the outcome.

    1. Thank you for your candid post. Sometimes we have to quit to solve a problem. Your decision to protect yourself came at the expense of losing someone you cared for (and cared for you). While I don’t think you have the right to make this decision for her, if you can’t break through the defenses and misunderstandings, you do have the right to put your own life in order.

    2. Then do not ‘mask’ in the beginning.
      Be yourself…stop toning it down..because you cannot as you say keep it up. It exhausts you.
      So to save alot of heartbreak, upset and unecessary mental grief for true to who you really are.
      NTs as we are called Neex emotional needs met. You cannot meet them.

    3. Hi Jane,

      I’d welcome your perspective on my current situation if you have the time.

      My boyfriend of nearly 13 years, and for the most part it’s been an awesome period of time, as I am a patient person (often to my own detriment) for the second time is in silent treatment mode. The first time lasting around 30 days and he reached out to me when he had a serious tooth infection that might interfere with an offshore ocean boat race (one of his special interests). Of course I helped him immediately and he went on his race and then all was pretty calm until 5 days ago.

      We both are fighting Lyme disease. I am the NT in the relationship and do all of the research etc pertaining on how to beat the disease. I buy his supplements etc to help him, too, beat this.

      I won’t go into the play by play details of what happened this past Monday. (We currently do not live together, but I have a condo he has complete access to. However I am no longer welcome to his house as he is a hoarder and is ashamed of his house. )He was highly irritated and probably tired, as I was, and I was a source of irritation to him. Recognizing that, and being quite under the weather, I retreated to a different room. He threatened me, that if I left he’d never forgive me. He sent a text an hour later, (of which I did not hear) asking if I wanted dinner. When I heard the front door close I immediately looked at my phone and saw his texts and one of them said he was leaving and would never forgive me. I replied instantly that of course I wanted his dinner! That I did not hear his texts . He wrote back it’s too late, he was already gone. So…day 5 of silent treatment.

      Needless to say I am really emotionally shook up but know enough not to pressure him and try to find support for myself. But it’s tough. I do not want to lose our friendship and companionship. He is precious to me.

      I have made the condo “ours”. He has many belongings there although never sleeps there overnight. He always goes home even though I have asked him to stay. I bought him a super comfortable chair that he loves. He has mentioned that he is really enjoying his time at the condo. He goes there for lunch and of course we would spend time together. Well, the condo developed a squirrel infestation that was unhealthy for me, and a source of stress. I had to find alternative place to stay as the air is unsafe. So I come and go.too. Since the silent treatment began, Brian is still going to the condo for lunch, I can tell he was there and cooked some meat he had bought for us. He brought a box that was delivered at t house for me, over to the condo. However, he did not text me that he did that. It’s a total communication blackout from his side. As for me, I wrote an email explaining that my intentions of going into the other room were maybe different from how he perceived it. I made no demands nor did I ask any questions from him. I did send a second gentle email showing a reply from my mother in regards to a beautiful pillow he made for her birthday. I told him when he’s ready, taco dinner is my treat. (He loves tacos).
      I send one text per day. News related articles. Today I wished him a Happy St. Patricks Day and thanked him for bringing my box to the condo, and that I would not be there this evening and his chair would probably love his company.

      Zero replies.

      My question for you: To date He has not removed any of his belongings from the condo, is still cooking there, doing dishes. In your opinion, is he still in our relationship? I just don’t know how to figure this out when he is 100% quiet. I realize no one can know for sure but just thought I’d reach out to you. I am open to any advice or suggestions.

      Thank you kindly for your time.

      1. Obviously I cannot know for sure what is going on with your boyfriend. Nor can I tell you if he is “still in the relationship.” What I can tell you is that the Silent Treatment is a form of managing anxiety. Many with ASD have extreme levels of anxiety, and are very poorly equipped to regulate their emotions. As a result, they avoid anyone and anything that triggers their anxiety. This is often seen in those with Schizoid tendencies too. Your condo must still be an emotionally safe place for him since he keeps returning there. I am not sure this qualifies as being “in a relationship” with you, as you would define it. On the other hand, perhaps you could coax him to get psychotherapy and medication. It has got to be a miserable life having this incredible level of anxiety.

        1. Dear Kathy,

          Thank you for the reply. Right now he is not responding at all. The stresses I am facing, that I talk with him about because he is my best friend, must be the cause for his withdrawal. I must be the trigger albeit I did not realize that nor is it ever my intention to stress or upset him.

          Ugghh…a huge hole in my life. He once told a friend that “Debbie keeps me stable”. I am not feeling so stable right now.

          I really miss him.

  29. It’s a year later after my last comment. I understand everything about this, We were talking things out better. He started a new job to start anew, And we had a disagreement, details get blurred, gas lighting occurs, I get madder about thr roundabout stories…Then he blocks me! Really?

  30. Good evening all.
    I would be honoured to share my story if it helps in any form. My partner/ex partner (depending on he feels) has Asperger’s difficulties and finds it hard to cope in his daily life.

    I believe that many who are ‘healthy minded’ ( I don’t enjoy categorising people) people who have never experienced the difficulties with someone who experiences Aspergers symptoms, just like anyone else, is a new experience.

    People who experience cognitive/mental health difficulties are at high risk of not being able to control their behaviour and it doesn’t have to be related to personality difficulties.

    So if not medicated or being treated, an ‘Aspie’ will have many issues with their ability to control their behaviour. They can still learn to be better people, just like everyone else.

    Its very important to know that bad behaviour is not tolerated, no matter the difficulty.

    So when my partner behaves as per the pattern that most people have shared, that is when I need to communicate to him very clearly that that type of behaviour is not acceptable and that he needs to talk with me about what he is experiencing.

    The dynamic is pretty much the same as narcissism difficulties. Healthy Professionals may either agree or disagree.

    In my experience, its not about what they have, its about what they need to be able to become a better person to have an understanding that they cannot be abusive to others.

    So with an Aspie, they will look apon anyone who they cannot understand as being a disappointment. Its a difficulty, not an excuse.

    When the Aspie shuts down, we must be VERY c l e a r and basic in our terms. Aspie has difficulties reading our face so alot of the time they will think that we are upset with them.

    Its about understanding.
    When my partner abuses me, I clearly state that I do not take responsibility for his behaviour. He will either; a) pick on me or b) tell ke to not touch him, not go near him or just he silent.

    Dont be silent back, you will make them feel more disappointed about us. Its a disappointment issue. “I am disappointed at you because you hurt me and I refuse to discuss the concerns becuase I struggle with me putting others first.

    With a personality difficulty, its entitlement.
    With Aspie, its a lack of awareness and understanding which leads to aggitation ending in …….. disappointment.

    So be very clear, if they need their space, we must clearly explain that their behaviour is not acceptable and that they can reach out to us when ready to continue.

    If the Aspie goes silent, we need to make them aware that this is a form of abuse and clearly explain that you will no longer be available to support them until they get support and they need. Let them knoe that you still love them but that this is not healthy. Aspie find it hard to verbalise and speak in logic. So we need to speak in logic back but being very clear.

    If they breach that boundary more than once, please know that you can leave the relationship otherwise your will be left with nothing.

    I know its hard but no one is entitled to hurt others. Especially if they use defence measures to cope with being hurt.

  31. Wow, I’m so glad I found this page, with current posts still flowing in!

    I’ve had the extraordinary experience of starting a fledgling romance with an aspie recently. It’s been quite a whirlwind, with so many stops and starts. I really like her a lot, she’s an unbelievably beautiful, poetic person, who has such a true heart. Unfortunately I’ve recently been shut out by her. We had been hanging out for a few weeks, finally kissed, and then I haven’t seen her since. We’ve traded a few sporadic texts, but none recently.

    Does anyone have any tips on how to get back in touch with her? My last texts weren’t answered, and I’m worried I might have accidentally miscommunicated in a way that she took wrongly. I’m thinking of just sending a quick, positive text asking who she’s doing and that it would be great to catch up. Another option is to acknowledge that there might have been some miscommunication and quickly clarify where I stand–is this a good approach, or should I just stick to the quick message and save that stuff for in person, if it gets there? Navigating communication with her sometimes feels like an impossible minefield, but one that I’m willing to try to navigate.

  32. Kathy,
    Below is a segment of a comment you responded to some time ago. Can you explain to us how this thinking isn’t inherently self-centered, lacks maturity and reciprocity and, well, is NOT narcissistic?
    In my view, what’s described in this ASD person’s advice is a total abandonment of the neurotypical’s basic needs in what should be a moment of mutual expression between a couple when hurts have been inflicted. All this while also catering to and coddling the ASD partner like a child as to never upset him. Even when he’s hurt you.
    Do you agree with my assessment of what he’s saying? You thanked the person, but do you think this is the right or healthy way to conduct a relationship between two adults?

    “If you want to try with him again he will most likely not comply, but If he is stop [being] open to it you will need to chill out, do not be critical of him in any way, do not ask for anything, do not pressure him to do activities, do not contact him unless it’s to offer him something of comfort, and everything has to seem like his idea so pose things you want in a way that will allow him to come to his own conclusions.”

    1. I am not sure what you are referring to. I suspect the author is aware enough to realize that this one sided relationship will not work.

  33. Jane’s comment is just proving everyone’s experiences and hurt is valid. Truly ignorant, not self aware at all. People defending this behaviour (whether they’re on the spectrum or not) is something all these victims of abuse do not deserve. They don’t have to forgive, beg or change. There’s no need.

    I wish everyone well, get out as soon as you can. One day I’ll have enough courage to do so too.

  34. Like everyone else I am so relieved to not feel so alone. I have been in a relationship for 10 months with someone with Aspergers. I’ve been in situations where I’ve been verbally, physically (not hit but indirectly shoved or broke something/thrown something at me) and emotionally abused by my partner during his outbursts. I love him more than I have loved anyone and am willing to make long term compromises in order to make our NT/ND relationship work but I feel like all the major sacrifices are coming from me. (My state of mind/my freedom/my self worth).

    The progress he’s made has been evident, but slow but the setbacks are always catastrophic. I suffer with panic attacks and anxiety and feel like my feelings are invalid and completely alone when he triggers me. I go between empathy and feeling like a victim of narcissistic abuse. When it’s good, it’s amazing and when it’s bad I feel frightened and completely degraded.

    I’m currently being froze out by him and we haven’t spoken properly in weeks. All I feel is pain. From not only thinking of what he is going through but giving myself anxious and frightening answers about what the explanation is for the lack of contact. The inner turmoil is unbearable. I barely have had any answers from him other than I will be better without him and that he doesn’t want me to be unhappy and loves me too much to see me hurting like this. He says I’m such a good person he doesn’t feel like it’s fair and I deserve someone better than him. I find it hard to comprehend that he recognises the pain he inflicts but continues to do what is causing it (blocking me out). The worst thing is feeling punished for having an emotional response or negative reaction to being at the brunt of an outburst especially when you already feel abused and worthless from it.

    I find myself in a cycle of validating his feelings and assuring him I don’t blame him but we need support. I understand it’s a disability and for that I will always make compromise because it is my choice to be with him. I know he will always have Aspergers but I really do believe he has the capacity to gain knowledge to deal with some of the symptoms in a healthier way. I believe his communication can improve because I’ve seen it improve. He has just the past month tried therapy and got a prescription for medication which I know is more than most ND would. We have had open(ish) conversations about the disorder and how it impacts communication. I can see how destroyed he is when he comes out of an episode. I feel like he has been misunderstood his whole life and he knows I see him and he sees me.

    I know he loves me and he is a good person regardless of me speaking about the negative things there is so much good in our relationship, but I feel stuck, because I cannot be a victim of abuse or deal with the anxiety I’m left in. Being blocked or froze out for days is really destroying. I don’t know what to do and I’m at the point where I can’t talk to my friends or family because I feel judged for what I’m enduring and no one who hasn’t experienced a relationship with a ND person understands that not everything is a premeditated choice or intentionally malicious. I feel embarrassed and stupid for what I’m tolerating but I am so in love and so hopeful. I just want it to work out but I’m afraid after reading a lot of these posts it will never get better and I don’t want to accept it. Please can someone help – I’d really appreciate any advice with no judgement as I feel incredibly isolated.

    1. Trauma Bond is very Real my friend.
      I too have experienced much the same as you.
      The support i gave my aspie boyfriend was at detriment to my own mental health. In the end this supply(me) ran out of giving her soul.
      I was everything to him, love of his life, you name it. He was to me.
      I researched Aspergers for 5 years to support him. I hoped it would help us as a couple.
      These people are Mindblind. A lack of empathy and any emotional attatchment. They repeat what they covet everyday. They repress their true identity to ‘fit in’
      Its oh so hard for them…
      We NT,s as they call us….worry about saying the wrong thing in case a meltdown occurs where they go silent or disappear.
      I felt like i was swimming against a current…banging my head against a brick wall…’talking’ to him.
      Be prepaared to lose yoursself if you choose to stay. It will be a long, cold, lonely, life. Get a cat or dog if you want someone to truly love you and be pleased to see you…seriously.
      These people need a government health warning stamped on their head.
      I tried for 6 years…he even tried to commit suicide and sent me a text saying ‘forgive me’. I found him and paramedics saved him. I supported him throughout. I was struggling mentally, but my love for this crazy unique guy kept me there..
      He discarded me 2 weeks ago. I was no longer of any use because i dared to ask for support with menopause.
      The poor lamb couldn,t cope.
      These people are incapable of commiting to a normal relationship.
      Stop idealising them…they cannot change…ever.
      If you can get out…i appreciate some cannot…run…keep running and never look back.
      If you cannot run……financial then forge a life without them in it.
      Look after You. You Matter. Love You. Be kind to You. Think about You. Your Needs.
      Look in the mirror and adsk You if you are happy…x

  35. Update: I’ve had little communication from him but a text to say he misses me. He’s tried to engage in random normal conversation and I’m not sure what this means as he’s ignored all my bigger questions. Ie; ‘do you consider us together at the moment’. I’ve presented him with two examples of responses as I read that this can be helpful to someone with ASD to not feel so overwhelmed by over analysing their response. But I still haven’t got an answer.

    It’s hard to keep letting someone doing this know you’re there for them and still thinking of them as your partner (I haven’t seen him in a month). I have no idea what he’s doing or thinking. It’s torture.

    I’m worried he’s using this time to move on but wants to know I’m still there to make it easier on him. I am also fearful I’m looking at the situation as if he were NT. I don’t want it to be dragged out if he no longer wants to be with me but I also don’t want to abandon him if he’s taking time to come out of a freeze loop. I’ve expressed I’m aware of what’s happening but that I don’t know where it leaves us now. My anxiety is in overdrive and I’m scared to keep bombarding him when I know this might push him away – but I also need answers and some form of communication. If anyone is ND and reading this could they kindly shed some light. Im finding doing the right thing or predicting an outcome difficult and also having faith in someone so distant. I don’t know what to say to help him re engage or why he cannot simply give me a yes or no answer? I don’t want to be ignorant I’m just trying to understand.

    1. Just get on with Your life my friend..
      Yes it is hard…very….if he is meant to come back…he will….in the meantime look after You..Your mental health…love You!
      Leave him be..for now…stop thinking about what he is doing or thinking.
      He is a logical thinker, not emotional as i can see you obviously are.
      Be kind to Yourself…

    2. Annie, I found your words and sentiments to be exactly mine right now. I am a week into another freeze out with my Aspergers boyfriend. The last one in 2016 lasted a month and I only heard from him when he needed help. It’s been fairly good the last 6 plus years until last Monday., I am fighting lime disease, and my life has become very stressful on top of that. I think the stress he sees is stressing him. I am probably the source of his dress be sued ge can’t fix these stressors and he likes to fix things.

      I don’t know for certain because he is not responding to anything. And it’s only me he is shut down to. He is still going to work and has good relationships at work.

      I hope you are doing well with your situation.

        1. What is difficult is the not knowing.. are things over? Is this silent treatment a complete ghosting and is the answer that the 13 year relationship is indeed over.

          How long do I sit in this pain? How long do I take to sto paying for his insurance. Close his credit card,. Remove his items from my place and return them to him? Ask for my belongings back (keys, personal items).

          He wrote that “I will never forgive you.” (But did not state what I did that was unforgivable).

          This truly is pure hell. He has treated me special and made me a beautiful pillow for Valentines Day. So I am really confused by a total shut out just days after such a special gift and evening. (He just made one for my mother too). How can one shut off so completely so fast?

          1. It is so very difficult to accept this dysfunctional behavior. It is not you. The Autistic mind can create all kinds of wrong thinking when they are hurt and confused. Because the NeuroDiverse are Mind Blind, they do not comprehend your intentions. Without this key piece of information they freely confabulate. There usually is no convincing them otherwise.

        2. Dr. Kathy,

          I just heard from my boyfriend. He wants to eat dinner together tonight. I am relieved,

          That being said, I am going to work on myself so that I am not so codependent on a relationship and emotionally distraught when one ends.

          I plan to join your group for your advice and your gentle, thoughtful delivery of that advice is wonderful.

          1. Congratulations. Hopefully, he can take a good look at the beautiful jewel that you are and realize his mistake.

  36. I am now at the end of a very long aspie relationship. It lasted this long because we have our own homes. I have done and said everything to meet my partners needs. My needs are never met. I was told I have to accept that. The fighting is unpredictable, I was made to believe, I was the cause, because I wanted something, A emotion I could identify. Just hang ups/silent treatments/lies I never got the truth on. Even screamed at, and things thrown/punched walls. I was made to understand this? No sex in the end. Run! Run! Run!

  37. I just ended a 9 year relationship with my fiancé, who I suspect has aspergers but is not diagnosed. Reading these posts exemplify what I felt day to day with him. I saw the red flag’s throughout the relationship but always found an excuse as to why he would be constantly stressed, angry, disconnected or depressed. Things started to get worse once we moved in together, him needing to have alone time most of the time, calling me “needy” because I “needed so much attention”, while I was just expecting regular things like sitting together at the table for dinner or having small talk after work. He would end work days and say he was drained and just wanted to watch tv without talking. I tried to cuddle and he would always have an excuse to not get physically together: stuffed from dinner, not comfortable position in the couch. I sat there watching the TV thinking how miserable my life was. I felt alone all the time, even though he was phisically there. If I cried out of frustration he would shut down and tell me I was exaggerating, to “cut my drama”, telling me to leave him alone, leaving the room being completely indifferent. That killed me. His drinking also started to get really bad and in social situations he would say things that would embarrass me in front of our friends. We would come back home and he was wasted ordering excessive junk food and eating it all while watching TV (i watched in disgust), not even noticing if I existed and constantly falling asleep on the couch. If we went to dinners and didnt drink he would barely talk, that made me anxious.
    I decided to ask for a break of the relationship because I was on the verge of a mental breakdown as to how I felt invisible and not cared for. I left the house and the day I was moving and finishing packing my bags he was casually asking me what should he put in his smoothie, asking about food properties and pretending everything was ok. At first he didn’t want this break but then agreed that it would be good for us given the constant tension we were living with. I became at peace living without him but would be distressed because how absent he was in this break, where I thought he would have to be doing points to win me back. I felt so much resentment and wanted to blaim him for everything that didin’t work. Every time I tried reaching out to talk about the relationship he would get distressed, verbally aggressive, showing absolutely no empathy and his take was that this period was to not talk at all. We set a one month period to get together and talk. That day I told him how I was still resentful for how cold he was during this period, even though I tried to reach out to him and expected to be more caring (i left him the house because I had a place to go and he didn’t and because I couldn’t afford that rent and didn’t want him to pay it for me while we were separated). I mentioned a specific example about something related to money and he got so verbally aggressive saying I was a crazy person and that he would finish this conversation because I was saying stupid things. He stood up and left the room and asked me to leave the house. That day I decided to leave him for good.
    It has been a journey, i’m still trying to process many things, the gaslighting, and still have feelings that I was maybe the crazy needy person in the relationship. I tried to reach out and talk about what happened, our feelings and he shut me down saying it has no sense to talk about that and that all has already been said. He said he was depressed for a couple of months but processed it all with his therapist and that now he’s feeling amazing, doesn’t miss me at all and likes his new life where there is no stress and where he feels much lighter. It is hard to hear that, feels a bit simplistic and sad after 9 years of being together. I sometimes see him in social situations (have friends in common) and it seems as I he’s doing great, being much more social and not in the depressed and angry state that he lived while being with me. I was even shocked to learn that he’s casually dating a very normal and “good catch” girl. When I ended up things I believed he would continue to live under a rock and now it annoys me to see him as this fun, social, new person that I desperately wanted him to be while being with me. Do they actually change? Will he be better with her?

  38. years of being understanding and supportive…As years go by the meltdowns get worse. He has a therapist I pushed him to get, due to a personal addiction that was ruining our/his personal life that he was obsessed with. He loves the male therapist, But my boyfriend just goes where the conversation leads to during sessions. He also has a male church group I found for him, and he likes it, but it’s more a bunch of guys eating the snack of the day and BS ing instead of The Word. The name calling at me became too much to handle/plus the ghosting and blocking of me by him. I LEFT! AND IT FEELS GREAT! I had nothing left, but mistrust.

  39. I’ve been married for 35 years, and can’t take it anymore. My husband has Aspergers, but it’s not excusable that he blasts me for being old, ugly and fat. I work out like a demon, but I’m 67 and have wrinkles. He doesn’t like that I hike and run, and write mystery novels and has said I’m a terrible writer. He doesn’t read and is undereducated. He took off today for a few days, wouldn’t tell me where he is going, and I’m going crazy. His father had narcissism and was very ugly about my husband’s learning disabilities. But I’m tired of being emotionally and verbally abused.

  40. What do you do when it’s your child that does this? My (suspected) highly functioning autistic child is 2.5 months into giving us the silent treatment after we took away his computer access given the gaming addiction he developed and we had been dealing with for 2+ years. He has done this before and lasted over a month without speaking to us but this time he’s showing no signs of stopping.

  41. What if this person is your child? Our adult daughter 25 is undiagnosed aspie. Now, of course, we clearly see it, but when she was growing up it was unclear. We went through a serious disagreement about her choice of partners. Every time we would bring it up she would shut us down with a meltdown or silence. We could never finish a single conversation. Finally she told us she never wants to see us again . I’ve tried to write and text, but complete silence. She has cut off our entire family. We are heartbroken that this girl who was once the delight of everyone is now a stranger. She expressed to us (before this happened) that if we really knew her we wouldn’t love her. I kept insisting this wasn’t true. She is my daughter and I will always love her. But that doesn’t mean I will love every choice she makes. In recent years I felt that we were getting only the fake version of her. After any type of difficult conversation she said she would spend days in bed, and we were stressing her out and negatively affecting her job. She only liked when we would do things she enjoyed, and kept silent about anything controversial. That was okay for awhile, but hard to sustain long term. Now of course it is like we lost her completely. We feel helpless about this. Thank you for all these comments. At least I know that we are not alone.

    1. My daughter Bianca is autistic. I haven’t seen her since 2005. She just turned 36 in December. She has blocked me from every conceivable method of contact and is fully supported in this effort by my ex husband, Howard (also autistic). They have been so convincing in their story that I am the most disgusting, vile person on the planet, that total strangers fear me. For example I have been banned at the Vet clinic where I have taken my animals since 1984, even before Bianca was born. Yes it is heartbreaking but also a symptom of the terror that can grow in the mind of an autistic person. Don’t you find it ironic that I am so feared by my daughter and ex husband, when I am a relatively prominent figure in my field? When I have spent my life helping others in NeuroDivergent relationships resolve the stress and misunderstandings and chaos? I am probably the only person who can help Bianca and Howard find relief from their paranoia because I know them very well and I know the dynamic of autism infused paranoia. Howard has a chain and padlock on his front gate. Is this about me — or is it a sad effort to keep away a world he does not understand? The silent treatment from your autistic daughter is a symptom of a mental illness and a terror she feels that she is not normal. Every day that you navigate the social world — and do it beautifully —- reminds her that she is a failure. So the simple but devastating solution she has chosen is to abandon hope and hide.

      1. Thank you for your reply. I am sorry to hear about your own daughter and husband and I will add you to my prayer list. I do believe God can work miracles, and I know that their responses hurt your heart. Praying for hope and healing.

        1. How very kind of you. One thing I have found on my personal and professional journey is that this life produces Radiant Empathy Angels.

          1. Kathy, right now I am sobbing because I feel a terrible sorrow for the fact that your daughter and husband have abandoned you. Paranoia is real with autistic people. My daughter is also age 35 and undiagnosed. She and my asd husband of 38 years are best friends and they can’t understand me at all being neurotypical. They both can be cruel to me. They give me the middle finger and cuss at me. I feel alone and misunderstand by them. I understand your hurt. God bless

          2. We need each other, particularly those who live with this pain. Thank you for being there for me with your kind words. And I hope you know that I feel your pain too.

  42. I can’t express enough how grateful I am to have found this. The comments on here I can greatly resonate with more so than on any other website, I’ve been on so far. It has been two weeks now since my undiagnosed ASD boyfriend broke up with me for the second time now the first time around we were together for a year and yes, of course, like many of you will understand I thought I found my Prince charming. I was certainly not as educated on ASD, as I am now, but I certainly picked up on his odd quirkiness if you will, right from the beginning, my friend, picked up on the fact that he was autistic, which led me to learn a little bit, but it didn’t phase me in the slightest, there were yes of course a few red flags if you will but there was also that part of me that said, “stop it you’re being treated wonderfully for once”. I am his only real relationship he’s ever had. I am the only one to ever meet his family by the end of our first go around which again lasted a year literally right up until it became a year point is where he said he needed space and I was being clingy. Trust me, I work so much I don’t have a chance to be clingy. I know I wasn’t being clingy. Back to me, picking up on his autism, his IT job, his robotic, monotone voice, how he would discuss things, as if he was reading from an encyclopedia, his social awkwardness in a way. Sometimes if there were photos taken of him, he would look like a deer in headlights, which I later can be a trait, Word for Word. Nonetheless, I grew to love him and I still do his reasons for breaking up with me the first time we’re because I had a few holes in some of my clothes and some bleach spots you know very strange things like that this break up lasted one month in the middle of that month. He did reach out to me because he locked himself out of his house and needed the key, anyways, that month started my obsession with needing to learn about ASD. Naturally a month later, he reached out to me to ask how I was doing, and he hoped I was bettering myself, which led to him telling me that he missed me. We went out for dinner decided to take things slow. He wanted that special feeling back with me , he always referred to love as that special feeling next thing I know Christmas came. He got me a very extraordinary gift. Things were good. We got a great five months and now here I am again broken up with his reasons this time are we are two different and I don’t like every single band he likes and I don’t enjoy all of his main interests, which include hiking, which don’t get me wrong I love to do, but I won’t do dangerous mountain things like he does, he’s really spiraling right now with his special interest. He has three weeks of no work due to starting a new job soon,this is his playtime. His special interest is music and he’s literally traveling all over the country never mind going to Germany in a couple days just nonstop with this music. He’s very gullible because I feel he thinks the friends he has are his true friends and they’re not they are just people that he shares music with that he sees once in a while it shows, he went on to tell me that he knew we were different because he felt so much better talking to these people than he does to me. Of course he feels that way because it’s his special interest and they’re in that atmosphere at that given time it’s just not logical. He says he doesn’t know if he loves me. He doesn’t know if he’s going to miss me. He’s taking it “ hour by hour”. We had plans for next month and when I brought that up he said he wasn’t really thinking about much in the future right now only up until when he starts his new job I can go on and on and on with a lot of this, but trying to summit up keeping it short, my gut feeling is once his playtime is over and he is involved in his new job. Give it a week or two. I don’t know when “boring normal life” returns I will hear from him. I should know that he is aware he is on the spectrum. He does mention that he does need to see a psychologist to help with his ADHD so he can focus on the new job. He does tell me that he will bring all of this up as well. We’ve talked briefly about ASD and he’s aware he has it depending on the day and how it’s broughten up. The book “22 things a woman must know if she loves a man with Asperger syndrome” has been a holy grill for me. I have recommended he look at the book with me in the past but things got good again and naturally, I let it disappear from my mind this time around I brought it up and he did say he bought it to read along with everything else on the same subject by the author, along with get this, 300 other books on the subject, I guess that just shows you how his mind works. Will he read them? I think so because it’s knowledge that’s been presented to him that he’s not aware of yet and he’s a learner. I should also know on our first break up he did sleep with another girl pretty quickly, and was very open to telling me about it when I asked him , he said it was different with her and that his feelings for me were different. I let it go because again we were broken up. I have reason to believe that he did stay the night with a girl. He knows that he did have a thing with in Canada during his little playtime currently. I’m trying to leave that alone and not think about it. Am I seeing a pattern here? I am myself in therapy trying so hard to work on myself currently. I have to think deeply about what to do when I hear from him because like I said, I have a gut feeling I will. Also., To bring up social media, he is continuing to like all of my things I mean I guess I can’t look at that as strange, because I did leave it as being friends with him right now, even though I am in no contact, I will not reach out to him until I hear from him and even then I have to go about this carefully. How common is it for aspie’s to return after breaking up with you numerous times? I am a lot more knowledgeable on the subject now than I was and I am honestly willing to give it another go with a few rules implied. I also do know that I have to stop being so attached, I have been known to do that in ways that were not good in the past so I do know already that I do have an unhealthy attachment style which I am working on. Anyways, that’s my story. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you guys.

  43. After 3 months of confusion and heartbreak, i finally feel less alone in understanding. My autistic Fiance called off the wedding and left me, blaming me for every single difficulty in our relationship. After a year of emotional invalidation from him, i sunk into a deeper depression which made me dissociate from him without even realising. He could not take my negativity, he told me and he didnt know how to deal with me. This was during my post natal depression. I had no support. During this time there was alot of conflict as we were both depressed and could not communicate effectively, we didnt understand eachother and it was a vicious cycle. We never did sit down to talk things through, to fix it. He would not accept the fact that i was suffering burnout, he just walked away from our family and now ignores me, avoids me and only messages me when its about our son. He is a completely different person. Selfish, huge ego, no empathy or compassion and threw everything away because we had a challenging year. I believe the mask fell off and he couldnt take it anymore. He constantly wanted me to act happy, he tried to control everything. All he cares about is himself which is why i was a shadow of myself in the relationship. Very similar situation to many of you here. Any challenge at all, they run, they cant cope. The bright side is i feel at peace, ive rested from the burnout and i feel happier inside without him.

  44. Wow – I can’t believe how equally heartbroken and validated I feel reading these comments. Im in a 14 year/2 child (10 and 7) marriage with someone who we are just now realizing has undiagnosed ASD. I say “we” because my husband is actually the one who initiated the thought that he may be on the spectrum after watching the show “Parenthood” together and specifically relating to the Ray Romano character storyline (I know it’s an older show but I literally just got around to having the time to binge it now!). We are both still processing and trying to figure alot out. And as part of his processing…enter the silent treatment.

    I am currently living in a silent treatment cycle of about 5 days. I’ve lived through enough of them to know how this goes and that it’s his way of decompressing while trying not to say/do anything regretful (which I can appreciate) but my question is – has anyone else experienced a cycle of silent treatment with children in the house where only the NT spouse is the recipient of the silent treatment?

    I can’t tell which is worse – when he freezes all of us out (heartbreaking to try to explain why to two elementary aged children but comforting to know it’s nothing personal towards me specifically) or when it’s just me that gets frozen out (harder to not take personally but easier that the kids can still interact in an emotionally safe place with their dad). This particular freeze out began with all of us but after 2-ish days he’s reconciled with the kids – even apologizing which is HUGE for him. I assume it’s easier for him to repair things with them first due to their ages and maturity level…I’m still sitting here on ice so of course I start to replay my every move thinking it IS personal- although I know it began with all of us so the trigger wasn’t something I did specifically (this time).

    I am beyond blessed with an amazing outside support system – large extended family who I have always been close with, 2 best friends from childhood that are more like sisters and another 6 roommates from my college years and I am so super close with and together they all keep me grounded and sane – although I haven’t yet told any of them about our ASD suspicions – it hasn’t even been a full week since I figured this all out myself. I am also incredibly close with my two children and have a great relationship with them. They question dads behaviors now that they are getting older and I am just now finally feeling like I have clarity on what all of his individual quirks and/or issues mean on a larger scale- it’s actually reassuring after so many years to be able to put my finger on some reasoning behind the behaviors. My kids ask or want to talk about dads mood swings and I talk – but at an age appropriate level. If it’s at all within my control I want to raise emotionally healthy children who aren’t afraid of healthy confrontation or communication. Thanks so much for this resource/outlet…knowing you are not the only one who lives this type of life is strangely liberating and is giving me strength to keep myself a priority as I work through wherever we will go from here.

  45. This article and some of the responses are toxic and harmful. A lot of autistic people (not “Aspies”…and we don’t “have” Aspergers – we don’t want to be associated with that Nazi-sympathiser. We are autistic people!)

    It seems to me like a lot of you are refusing to understand the needs of your autistic partners, so have resorted to gaslighting and demonising to make yourselves feel better. Shame on you!

    If it’s that hard for you to make the effort to understand us, do the autistic community a big favour and stay well away from us. We already suffer disproportionate abuse and gaslighting in our relationships, and we don’t need people adding to it!

    Many of you are villains, not victims. Autistic people are struggling if they shut down like this, so don’t turn it into a personal attack. Perhaps if you were loving partners, you would try to be supportive and gain an understanding of what’s going on? Just a thought.

    1. This is always such a difficult topic. I am so sorry if you are hurt or offended. I’ll do my best to explain the logic of the blog and the use of the term “Aspie.”

      First, “Aspie” was coined by those on the Autism Spectrum and in fact was incorporated into many blogs and chat rooms. One prominent one was “Aspies for Freedom.” To this day the term is used by those on the Spectrum who host podcasts and blogs. The reason the term is still in use is that it is well known by both the NeuroDiverse and NeuroTypical. It is not intended to be used in a disparaging way. However, I would suggest that both NTs and NDs consider the feelings of those who do not like the term, or find it hurtful.

      Secondly, my goal is to help all involved in a NeuroDivergent relationship come to terms with the anguish they feel. I have written many books on the problem when empathy is scrambled. To be fair, NeuroTypicals are just as wounded as those on the Autism Spectrum. It would be unkind to dismiss their concerns because those with Autism suffer. Everyone in these relationships suffer. Time to come to terms with the misunderstandings and the chaos and fine a new way to connect.

    2. Don’t generalize. Anyone can be selfish, including people on the spectrum. I lived with one for 5 years, the least happy years of my life. I gave and gave.

  46. Help! I dated this guy for 4 months and I suspect that he has the spectrum based on his rouitne, food, lack of empathy, no facial expressions, and etc. All the while I just thought that he was an introvert until an introvert friend pointed out that it might be ASD. I started doing my research and lo and behold he has all the traits. I felt that I was lovebombed and slowly he was starting to become emotionally distant. One time he mentioned that he is stressed out about the family business and that he is not good in managing stress. I noticed that he was acting odd for a few weeks, lack of interest to exchange messages, seemed very distant and cold, and was extremely quiet. After a fun weekend at the beach I called him and he just said that we should end and stop things. He has given me the silent treatment since then. I am just so lost and I don’t know what else to do. Should I wait or should I move on? If there is anyone who can find the time to speak to me please do and your inputs will be greatly appreciated. I am just a mess right know and this stress and anxiety is killing me inside.

  47. They mask when they need to or have something they want. So do we all. When you tell them that their behavior is insulting, they leave the room. It is harder for them to navigate emotional communications. So what – try! I wasted years with one.

  48. I don’t like the term Aspie for an Aspergers sufferer. Higher Functioning Autism is my preferred phrase – which means High functioning in some areas not functioning in others. My husband is this, I am his second wife. 18 years ago he walked out on his wife and three young sons. He blamed them entirely for this. He believed he could teach them a lesson. After three months he told his ex he was ready to cone back. Surprise surprise she told him she didn’t want him back, because life is much easier without him. I now know this was an autistic shut down. He tries to shut me down on a daily basis. He talks over me repeating phrases, mocking me calling me the enemy and says I am objectionable. He lies repeatedly, he lies to me my family, he projects all his negative feelings on to me and constantly criticises me. My mum died suddenly 7 months ago he cannot understand why I am sad and is angry with me for being sad. I am not looking at a person who wants to understand his condition and manage it just someone who uses it as an excuse for cruel behaviour. I know he is trying to drive me out. My strategy from now on is to pretend to him he cannot hurt me and to pretend to the world everything is OK. He has killed our relationship.

    1. Just a quick note. the term “Aspie” was first coined by those with High Functioning Autism. They started using the term on a variety of websites and it took hold. It was never intended as a pejorative term, and it doesn’t seem to have changed much in usage. Some have tried to substitute “Autist,” but it doesn’t have a ring to it.

      Terminology is one of those things that changes or stays the same because of cultural adaptations.

  49. Aspergers itself is a term that dropped out of use several years ago in the UK because of Dr Aspergers association with the Nazi regime. Perhaps this is not so commonly known in the US where I assume most of the posters are from. 25 years ago I remember reading Aspergers’ case studies from the 1930s as my sister has Autism and it was still a blunt tool being used for diagnosis and recommended reading. The name Aspergers disturbed me and my mum then as we wondered in Nazi Germany what would have happened to those children diagnosed by Dr Asperger and years later an academic did research into it and many of those diagnosed were executed by the Nazi regime in their pursuit of the Master race, with I understand Aspergers collaboration. Using the term Aspie does not remove the association. A lot of these posts are sharing the very distressing experiences of being a partner of someone with High Functionning Autism – an Autistic person reading these posts may be moved to find the diminutive term “Aspie” in this context offensive.

    1. I am sorry if the term “Asperger Syndrome” offends you and your partner. The information you shared is not new in the US. In fact, one reason the American Psychiatric Association changed the diagnosis a few years back is because of the association you describe. If you want to read more about the name please check out my blog on Hans Asperger. Or my podcast on the same topic.

      The term “Aspie” was coined by those on the Spectrum. In fact it is still quite commonly used by Autists, as evidenced by the numerous blogs and podcasts with the terms in their titles.

      I have kept the terms too but update them with more current options as it is possible. But as I have explained many times the terms are a way for folks to find the help they need. “Asperger Syndrome” is well known and in the common parlance, so it makes it easier to use a term with which the average person resonates.

      This is not to say we shouldn’t make an effort to be more accurate and sensitive. For example, I am currently updating my 2009 book “Going Over the Edge?” In this Anniversary edition, I am changing some of the outdated language because I do want my readers to know more about the history. In fact, I have an entire chapter on the very issue that you write about.

      Hope this helps you a bit to know that I do understand your concerns. And your support for those with ASD is much needed. Thank you.

  50. My ASD father has given me the silent treatment now since 2019. I am almost 40 years od and often the pain feels unbearable. He has nothing to do with his grandchildren and has only seen them once in 4+ years.

    He treats me with utter disdain and disrespect. He refuses to answer my calls and won’t reply to texts, emails or letters. He insists on only speaking to my husband to provide me with messages, but we have kept that boundary regardless of his desire to use my husband as his personal messenger service.

    I will never understand my father nor why he seems to hate me so much.

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