I apologise for the amount of time it has taken me to do part 2 of this blog, I didn’t want to do it without the input from Oliver and he hasn’t felt up to it up until now. For those who haven’t seen part 1 it can be found here.
I also apologise for the formatting I am having trouble with WordPress at the moment.
Again i want to state I am not autistic myself, I do not know everything and am still learning new things everyday. I have had input from my autistic partner Oliver. He has made his own paragraph to finish the blog.
In the other post I talked through the first 10 points, so here comes the remaining 15.
“Because Aspies tend to talk and act differently to NTs, they commonly attract a specific type of partner. Their spouses are often caring and nurturing and have strong protective instincts. In many ways, they become a link between their Aspie and society.”
Surly being in a relationship you should care for your partner regardless of disability. I care and have protective instincts just as much as Oliver does for me. I don’t really see what the problem is with this? Not being neurotypical (NT) is not a bad thing.
“Because the Aspie does not have the same relational needs as the NT partner, he may be unable to recognize instinctively or to meet the emotional needs of his partner. Marriages can thus form some dysfunctional relationship patterns.”
Autistic people usually struggle to understand body language, facial expressions and other forms of non-verbal communication. Therefore, recognizing others emotions and knowing how to act is very difficult without direct verbal communication. This means that autistic people often need reassurance of how someone is feeling or for a NT person to directly say how they are. This doesn’t necessarily mean that dysfunctional relationship patterns will form, both partners need to work together to come up with plans/systems to support each others emotional needs. This needs to happen in any healthy relationship, it just may take a little more work with a autistic partner, again this is not a bad thing.
“For NTs who had normal expectations of the mutuality of marriage, there may be a sense of betrayal and a feeling of being used and trapped while in a relationship with an Aspie.”
This is ablest, untrue and an unfair stigma towards autistic people. You enter a relationship because you love a person. There may be times when you are supporting the other slightly more if they are going through a difficult time. This is mutual and both parties of the relationship would support each other. This doesnt mean you are being used or trapped. An autistic person is more likely to be the victim of abuse.
How can my identity be purely made up of looking after Oliver…yes sometimes I support him however that doesn’t make up my identity, what makes up my identity is that I’m none binary, queer, someone who likes reading, music, going to the theatre. Not supporting Oliver, the only part of Oliver that is part of my identity is that we a realationship and one day will b married.
“NT partners may feel that they are daily sacrificing their own sense of self to help fulfill the priorities of the Aspie partner.”
I certainly don’t feel this…Oliver helps me just as much as I help him…we both support each other in different ways.
“NT partners may resent the reality of living on terms dictated by the needs and priorities of the Aspie partner.”
Again this is not true. I am not dictated but advised on what I can can do to help and when I can do it…this is this the same I’m sure for any relationship where conc noting adults are loving and supporting each other. As Oliver just said “otherwise you will doing things that are properly unhelpful or detremtal to someone’s wellbeing”
“Positive traits such as faithfulness and reliability are bonuses, and the NT partner can encourage her Aspie by praising him for these.”
First of all what is with the gender heteronormativity? When in a relationship with a person you take the good parts and the bad. It’s part of being with someone. You don’t praise a person for doing something nice it’s just patronising..especially grown adult
“Sometimes a relationship with an Aspergers partner ends up being more one of practicality and convenience for the Aspie than for the loving and meeting of emotional needs of the NT partner.”
If the realitionship was just purely convenience for Oliver it would not include difficulties with communication which so often come with being autistic. We meet each other’s needs in the best ways we can…supporting each other along the way…it’s not episode of the Big Bang theory where I have been given a realationship contact to sign.
“The Aspie can sometimes be emotionally and physically detached and become focused on a special interest to the exclusion of his partner.”
Yes Oliver has special interests these being the Tudor period of history and quiz shows…sometimes he does get absorbed into it but I know it’s not done t ignore and make me feel excluded. Sometimes when he becomes absorbed it’s a good thing as often reading or watch watching about specialist interests can calm him down and can help with sensory overload.
“The NT partner may unwittingly fill the role of “personal assistant” rather than being an “intimate-romantic partner.”
Levels of support can change throughout the day between the people in a relationship. Even if a partner is a carer there is still going to be love and care from the person who needs support. Just because you care or are cared for doesn’t erase the love.
“Your Aspie partner may seem to be more focused on a particular interest, project or task than on the people around them.”
If in that moment if time and being focused on a particular task is what’s needed for the autistic person why is that a bad thing? I think I’ll leave that to answer it’s self.
So there is my view on dissecting the ablest blog part two. As I have said previously I am not autistic however I am in a relationship with a autistic person who has worked through these points with me…
Here is a few words from Oliver (my partner)
“Autistic people are so often stereotyped as having no empathy and no understanding of how to be kind, caring and loving. We are also so often stereotyped as wanting to be alone and not good people to be around or be in relationships with. However, we are all unique, some of us will struggle with some things more than others and vice versa. What often makes things so hard and challenging for us is being expected to be neurotypical in a world dominated by non-autistic people, who think we are wrong if we aren’t like them. Also many autistic people are in relationships, many are not (for so many different reasons) just like non-autistic people. Not only do we have to contend with a world which is scary for us, but also with such discrimination, judgement and ableism as above and in Evan’s previous blog about this. Just because the ways in which we communicate, express empathy, show love, calm down, express our emotions are different from how non-autistic people expect us to do those things does not mean we do them incorrectly. Our relationships are just as loving, caring and important to us. If I show that in a different way to Evan who isn’t autistic it isn’t bad or wrong, it’s simply different. I am different, but most certainly not less.”
Bye for now
Evan (and Oliver) xox