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OK, whinge alert!

I’ve been with my husband a long time now, and I’ve always accepted that his social skills and way of seeing the world are more likely to be ‘right’, or less offensive, than my own. After all, only one of us has Asperger’s, so it stands to reason he (as the non-Aspie), will better understand what emotional responses are more in tune with whatever’s happening. He reminds me that it’s important to remember people’s wedding anniversaries – for close family members at least. He advises me when it’s best to keep my mouth shut about something. When I have a tricky work dilemma, I like to get his take on the situation. All this is good but…

Sometimes I think – is it SO wrong just to be me?

When my husband proposed, he knew my brain worked differently. I didn’t understand it as fully as I do now – and I have no idea how much my husband really ‘gets’ the Aspie thing. But he DID know that I have different social skills and some of the things he thinks are important just make me roll my eyes. I’m sure his influence has improved me, but did he marry me thinking this was just a phase? Did he marry me thinking he’d always be a kind of ‘carer’? Should I always be expected to bow to his opinion on anything related to social interactions just because I’m wired differently?

I don’t think of Asperger’s as a disability. So why would it be so wrong to let me react naturally to things? Would I suddenly alienate everyone around me?

To be fair, I have alienated plenty of people in my time, but not (I think) for more than a decade. I’d like to think that’s not solely down to the supervision of my ‘carer’.

Aspie’s in relationships with non-Aspie’s (or vice-versa), what’s your take on this? Do you get ‘corrected’?

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When I was growing up, before I’d even heard of the condition, I spent a lot of time crying because I couldn’t relate to my peers. As you can imagine, this made dating rather tricky.

By the time I was of an age to date boys I was too afraid to talk to most of them. My less than amazing social skills had taught me to expect rejection, ridicule and stressful misunderstandings. Somehow I got from there to being happily married.

How I started dating

My first boyfriend was the friend of a friend. Our first meetings (and many of our dates) were the result of lots of alcohol. I can’t recommend alcohol as a solution to your social and dating nerves but it certainly helped me set the ball rolling.

What I found best for starting new romantic relationships was internet dating sites. My aspergers makes it easier to communicate in writing than in person, plus I hate the telephone! Emailing prospective partners was a great way to get to know them as I was able to assess their interests and education level by reading their emails.

First dates were still nerve racking but I didn’t have to endure the nightclub chat up routines!

Be warned: some sites are aimed at people seeking long term relationships and others seem to cater for more casual flings so if you’re thinking about dating this way make sure you pick the right type of site!

Learning from your mistakes

It’s hard to talk about feelings with someone you care about. The more I value someone’s opinion the more likely I am to want to clam up about things that really should be shared.

Something I learnt from my husband is that you cannot rely on your partner to understand your feelings unless you explain them. This is probably true for everyone but especially for relationships where one or more partners is an aspie.

One person’s logic is another person’s madness. Don’t take it for granted that your understanding of something is correct, or that it is the only valid interpretation.

This was a hard lesson to learn because there’s a lot of ‘normal’ behaviour I don’t get. However, since I started applying this rule the things I don’t understand haven’t been so stressful. Like a kid at school I just have to raise my hand and say “I don’t understand, what do you mean by…”

Some people might think I’m an idiot but luckily my husband isn’t one of them. If someone does think you’re an idiot that’s their problem.