How Do You Survive the Loneliness in Your NT/AS Family?

The loneliness we feel when in a relationship with someone with Asperger’s Syndrome is indescribable. Even Aspie children can contribute to this feeling. We know we love them. They say they love us. Yet there’s this deep, profound loneliness, the source of which we must discover in order to combat it There is something ineffable about the loneliness we feel when in a relationship with an Aspie. Even our Aspie children can contribute to this feeling. Even though we know that we love them; even though they say they love us; there is this deep, profound loneliness nevertheless.To be perfectly honest with you, I still feel lonely on a daily basis. I know it’s not reasonable, since I have such abundance in my life. Nevertheless, spending decades of my life with those unable to acknowledge me, understand me, or connect with me, has left me longing for the sense that I am loved and belong. My head tells me I am wrong about my loneliness, but my heart tells me differently.

When you search the Internet, you’ll see numerous articles and resources for people with Asperger’s who feel lonely. Those with Asperger’s have trouble fulfilling the basic human need of bonding and connecting, so it’s not surprising that they feel lonely. Because of this, I help my Asperger clients develop rules for engagement, so their families can thrive, despite these challenges.

But there’s still not much out there for family members who live with an Aspie. We depend on family to provide warmth, belonging, acceptance, respect and value. That’s lacking in NT/AS families. On the outside, everything looks normal, so friends don’t understand, which adds to the loneliness you feel.

Do you find that you suffer in silence, because there isn’t a safe place to talk about your loneliness? I understand. That’s why I’ve created a safe and supportive space for members of my Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD group. Are you ready to reach out? I invite you to join my next Video Conference: Surviving the Loneliness on Wednesday, May 9th or Tuesday, May 22. It will help you identify the source of this loneliness and how to combat it. One powerful way to combat the loneliness is to participate in our conference call and share our experiences.

If you prefer one-on-one counseling, and you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA please contact my Jantzen Beach office and schedule an appointment. I also offer online therapy if that works better for you.

7 Replies to “How Do You Survive the Loneliness in Your NT/AS Family?”

  1. My husband has aspergers. Has run his own business for the last 20 years , has 36 employees who he doesnt empathise or understand, nor they him. He has some very intense hobbies which I am not part of. Our son is at uni he has aspergers too. Our daughter has just finished college is about to go off travelling. My husband keeps me very separate from his collegues and I never hear of any social activities at his work apart from on the odd occasion on the day that something is actually on, and its awkward for me to go. My husband travels a lot for his business but hates to be away from home and is reluctant for us to go away anywhere together.
    This is a solitary life. It’s hard but it does help to know its the same for other people.
    Karen (age 52) Cornwall England.

  2. I suspect my partner has Asperger’s, I have read up a lot about it and ASD in general. I also started seeing a psychotherapist to make sense of the things I struggled with in our relationship over the course of the few years, she is experienced with ASD and very much believes he has aspergers. At one point I thought he might be gay as there was such little reciprocity, absolutely no flirting, he can be quite effeminate etc. I queried this with him and this really annoyed him and caused a lot of damage which I am really apologetic for.
    Recently I queried the Asperger thing with him (because I stupidly thought it might help us). This didn’t go down well, currently he is very hurt by this. I’ve tried to explain that I think his brain is brilliant (he’s very intelligent) but in the ways it isn’t brilliant, it affects me and our relationship negatively.
    He has special interests which I am trying to get into with his encouragement (surfing and tennis).
    But if I am honest with myself, there is love but no romantic passion in our relationship and never has been even at the start. I thought it (the passion) would grow but it never did. He’s a lovely person and has so much integrity. He’s got good morals, from a point of view of long term, he would be very loyal and reliable. In saying that, I feel fearful of our future, I fear I will feel chronic lonliness, we’re both in our 30’s. When I read about ASD/NT couples, it’s mostly negative from the NT side.

    1. I am in the same exact situation. I have also begun to start suspecting his sexual orientation. I am not a bigot, I have family members who are gay. I just dont believe its right to mislead a woman into thinking they have a future together.

      I would not be surprised if he has a secret life you dont know. I am in my late 30s and I gave my best years to this guy. I also asked him about the aspergers (cause I found it on a youtbe video and it was similar to what I experienced w/ him), he got really upset, screamed, banged doors, texted his female best friend crap about me, while I was crying and apologizing. Just makes me sick overall, but ultimately the decision is ours if we want to let go or not.

    2. Update sept 2022:
      After a year of me attending psychotherapy & reading various books to help our relationship, he ended it with me.
      He had been unsure about me and the relationship for 15mths, possibly more (it was probably going to be quite hard for him to get past my queries about him being gay and actually asking him about aspergers – what was I thinking?!).
      I moved out as I said space might help him have some clarity and he ended it 3 days into the space; I wonder how much longer he’d have kept it going for had I not suggested the space. We were supposed to attend couples counselling (my idea, it was always me trying to find solutions) but he finished it just before the first session. We were together 3yrs, he advised he didn’t think he felt how he should feel after 3yrs (this was his longest most stable relationship, he’s 37 – all of the others lasted around 6mth-1yr and he had never lived with a partner before). Every conversation that regular couples have was hard though – finances, house stuff etc.
      There were never any chats about the future even at the start when apparantly he was mad about me.
      I almost lost my mind in this relationship, it was a lonely place to be. I completely reduced my expectations to avoid disappointment. In saying that, I definitely didn’t communicate well sometimes and there are many things I regret about my own behaviors (I was over ruled by my emotions/thoughts in this relationship, my ego has a lot to answer for too) but I have learned so much. Hoping what is for you doesnt pass you and that people come in and out of your life to teach you lessons and maybe aren’t always there to stay.
      I was at a point though where I’d come to terms with what I felt was aspergers & therefore realised you can’t apply Neuro typical princliples with ASD and as bizarre as it sounds with everything I’ve said above – I really do love him and had become excited about thoughts of a future with him and what that might look like. I’m aware I sound like a complete hypocrite.

  3. I hear all of you! I believe I was attracted to my husband after a twenty year marriage to an alcoholic. He seemed so rational and calm, it was exactly the opposite of my first marriage. I found him fun and witty; later I realized most of his funny lines were from the many movies he’d watched! After 26 yrs., I realize I essentially start and maintain 90% of our conversations and he replies with rote answers. He no longer reads or has good hygiene. He finally admitted that the shower terrifies him! He has basically no friends, doesn’t enjoy travel, speaks occasionally to his son and grandsons. It’s like I’m married to a big blank space!!! Yes, it feels VERY lonely!!!

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