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Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome
Posted on Wednesday, April 11 @ 15:52:58 EDT by
WrongPlanet Tips
Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome
The following article is written by Cindy Ariel (PhD), author of Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome.

I wrote Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome for several compelling reasons. Over the years Iíve had the opportunity to work with many people with AS and their partners either as individuals or couples and I have seen the struggles from both sides.

As I looked around for guidance, in the form of books and/or research to help me to help them, I found a serious dearth of information focused on these couples. Much of the writing seems almost to take one side or the other as if we are talking about two different teams or sometimes even enemies rather than two people who love each other and are trying everything they can to connect, yet coming up short.

Read about Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome



I try to come at these relationships with a balanced view, looking at responsibility on both sides and suggesting understanding toward and compromise from both partners. It can be very difficult to understand the roles and responsibilities of both partners when it often appears that only one is to blame. Taking a serious hard look at ourselves in relation to another can be exceedingly difficult, but I attempt to help couples gain balance and move closer to each other in this regard.

While itís true that having Aspergerís syndrome versus not having it result in two people with different ways of thinking and even of being, we do not have to be at such intense odds with each other. Both partners in any couple need to feel heard and both need to listen to the other with an open heart, if not an open mind.

If we listen to each other with our hearts, and use our heads to make important decisions we should be able to come up with a loving relationship that feels mutually satisfying and leads to a happy union. Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome: Understanding and Connecting with Your Partner was written to help partners in which one person has AS and one doesnít along their journey to a fulfilling life together.

You can order Loving Someone with Asperger's Syndrome on Amazon.




Editorial disclosure: While this column is not sponsored or paid for in any way, a separate ad for this book has been placed on Wrong Planet by the author.


               


 
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Re: Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome (Score: 1)
by peterblaise Friday, March 08 @ 14:33:19 EST
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A book is a tool, like any other tool, that does nothing on it's own; it's the tool-holder who does the work. I don't believe that a pencil can draw the Mona Lisa any more than a book can fix a relationship. It's the artist holding the pencil that does the drawing; it's the couple who read the book who do the work on their own thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behaviors. My thoughts on this book, "Loving Someone with Asperger's Syndrome: Understanding & Connecting with your Partner", by Cindy Ariel, 2012 (read some of it online, cut and paste text web links into a new browser tab or window to follow them): http://books.google.com/books?id=R6-z2WHQR1sC&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false I'm now reading the book for a second time; first, I just read straight through, and now I'm underlining and taking notes and arguing with the content. I experience the author sharing page after page of anecdote after anecdote about the thinking, feelings, emotions, character traits, and behaviors of relationship partners who have Asperger's syndrome and are experiencing problems. I find that the author's attitude suggests acceptance of "... That's the way it is ..." for people with Asperger's syndrome, so "... don't try to fix them or expect them to change. Accommodate them, work around them, work with them instead ...". In other words, "... Be happy NOW, be pleasant NOW, even as you address what may be life-long challenges to cooperation and success in your relationships ...". By the way, the above are not quotes from the book, but are my summary of my impression of the book so far. In the many anecdotes, I find corroboration and normalization, if I can use that word, of my own Asperger's syndrome experiences and behavior traits, and that's a good thing. Before this book, I felt like a freak, unable to ascend to "normalcy", and I felt especially unable to thrive like John Elder Robison and David Finch, authors who have Asperger's syndrome and have written other books that I have read (more below). The author, Cindy Ariel, in this book seems to invite me to look over their shoulder as they chat with couples in therapy, where one of the partners has Asperger's syndrome, and they are dealing with problems, and I am happy for the chance to learn about apparently many, many other people's Asperger's syndrome experiences and struggles. Especially illuminating for me was Chapter 3, page 37, a brief section on Systemizing (or Systematization, more below), finally giving a name to my way of paying attention to things (for example, empowering me to fix computers by seeing them as systems, learning how those system should work, and then finding the anomaly that goes against that system on my way to fixing it -- that's my true AS Asperger's Savant quality). The variety of Asperger's syndrome expediences shared in this book help me find a place in this world, and help me feel that my own experience is not as unusual as I had thought. Is our Asperger's syndrome experience in relationships hopeless? That's not what the book is about, though it offers suggestions for handling and preventing surprises and problems, and some of us may think of that as offering avenues for hope. I don't find the book as prescriptive of solutions as other's here may have been hoping it would be, or as we seem to read the author's self-description claims about the book. Alternatively, I see the book only as a tool, an opportunity for each reader to say, "... Wow, I guess our Asperger's syndrome relationship experiences ain't so strange after all. There are other couples out there who are coping, and who are making the best of Asperger's syndrome. Instead of fighting and hurting and breaking up, they seem to figure out a way to get along, and just love each other, day by day, so why don't we give it a try, also? ..." Between visits to their therapist! =8^o Does the book show "the way"? No, I don't think so. But like a pencil not showing the way to draw the Mona Lisa, I do not expect the book nor the author to show me the way to make my relationship work, as if there were a "way". Context: -- I'm a 60 year old man recently diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome -- I prefer to call myself an Asperger's Savant -- I'm an independent computer fixer because I got fired from a series of "real" company jobs with "real" bosses, and I've also had a series of attempted relationships fail on my way to my current partner, so I'm pretty desperate to make things work THIS TIME. -- My partner is a 50 year old woman whom I'd hardly call NT neurotypical, unless we admit that everyone has life experiences that test their mettle, in this case producing a rageaholic, with PTSD Post Trauma Stress Disorder syndrome, and depression, and probably more, all from an abusive childhood (what can I say, we're each broken in our own ways, and since I believe that everyone deserves loving, then why not go with what we have available right here and now regardless?). -- We've been together for 15 years, we have used a variety of individual therapy and couple's therapy modalities throughout most of our relationship, and yet we have been slowly going downhill regarding our self-satisfaction and satisfaction-with-each-other, culminating in a sudden panic-driven drop into hell recently -- I've read and enjoyed and felt simpatico with the books from John Elder Robison, David Finch, and Donna Williams (cut and paste text web links into a new browser tab or window to follow them): John Elder Robison https://www.google.com/search?q=john+elder+robison David Finch https://www.google.com/search?q=david+finch Donna Williams https://www.google.com/search?q=donna+williams Cindy Ariel https://www.google.com/search?q=Cindy+Ariel Now I'm curious to discover and read what other people think of what turns out to be my AS Asperger's Savant talent, "... systemization or systematization ...", and a web search brought me to: EmpathizingĖsystemizing theory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EQ_SQ_theory ... and a publication: "Cognitive systematization: a systems-theoretic approach to a coherentist theory of knowledge" by Nicholas Rescher, 1979, (a copy of which is in a library about 2 miles from where I live, gotta love Internet search!): http://www.worldcat.org/title/cognitive-systematization-a-systems-theoretic-approach-to-a-coherentist-theory-of-knowledge/ I would never have discovered and named one of my most treasured AS Asperger's Savant traits if it weren't for Cindy Ariel's book, "Loving Someone with Asperger's Syndrome: Understanding & Connecting with your Partner". Perhaps you will also find something of unique value to you, about you, in this book.



Re: Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome (Score: 1)
by EMTkid Friday, December 07 @ 00:10:18 EST
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My husband and I bought this book because we thought it would help him as an NT understand my world just a little bit. I'm fairly disappointed with the book. Instead of helping him to understand, it was simply designed to help him "cope" with having a wife like me. I found a lot of it's assumptions insulting, and how it talked like the entire burden to the relationship was on him because the aspie is incapable. All in all, if you are an aspie who is remotely happy and involved in your relationship, this book will be no help to you.



Re: Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome (Score: 1)
by aussiebloke Thursday, April 12 @ 22:51:25 EDT
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How on earth do people love us when we can't even love our selfs?



Re: Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome (Score: 1)
by LouG Saturday, April 14 @ 16:36:04 EDT
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why do you write this book with an assumption about a negative aspect within a relationship or one where 2 people are in conflict as if they have to "get over" something to be a good couple?



Re: Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome (Score: 1)
by CyclopsSummers Sunday, April 15 @ 07:59:35 EDT
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I like this approach: Much of the writing seems almost to take one side or the other as if we are talking about two different teams or sometimes even enemies rather than two people who love each other and are trying everything they can to connect, yet coming up short. I try to come at these relationships with a balanced view, looking at responsibility on both sides and suggesting understanding toward and compromise from both partners. I guess the book is targeted at people who are indeed facing problems in their relationship. If it wasn't about conflicts within the relationship, it would have been a different book. The only thing that may be a bit unfortunate in my opinion, is the title: "Loving someone with Asperger's syndrome", because that title is written from the perspective of the non-autistic partner, and it may seem that it's not aimed at the autistic partner. While the piece I quoted above in italics claims that the book tries to go against that clichť.



Re: Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome (Score: 1)
by CyclopsSummers Sunday, April 15 @ 08:01:49 EDT
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Sorry, I failed to integrate italics and paragraphs into my previous post. Not sure why it didn't work, as the preview showed exactly how I intended it to be.



Re: Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome (Score: 1)
by TommyTomorrow Friday, April 27 @ 14:03:40 EDT
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Both myself and my fiancee have AS. Anyone know if this book would be useful?



Re: Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome (Score: 1)
by anotherjared Sunday, May 13 @ 17:51:06 EDT
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It's a nice sentiment, I have to re-iterate an earlier comment about how to support a couple where both are aspie's. I'd much rather see Cindy Ariel (PhD) actively contributing to wrongplanet.net for the community of wrongplanet.net and not using the site to advertise her book... I'm not here to see sales pitches, I'm here for actual advice and discussion. Just me though.



Translations available? (Score: 1)
by YttriumOx Monday, September 24 @ 10:54:59 EDT
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I'd love to buy this book for my wife (an NT; I'm an Aspie) but her English skills aren't really up to this level of subject matter. Has the book been translated in to German? And if so, could someone point out a link for me? If not, I'll probably buy it in English and write the translation for her myself.



Re: Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome (Score: 1)
by moniqueH Wednesday, August 29 @ 01:33:17 EDT
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Thanks for the sharing your experience. Pretty inspiring..



Re: Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome (Score: 1)
by janette Tuesday, November 27 @ 07:11:24 EST
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I really don't understand all the comments? I am an aspie and was wondering about this book but the comments are off putting, are they advertisements to endorse the book or spam, I'm confused.



Re: Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome (Score: 1)
by janette Tuesday, November 27 @ 07:13:55 EST
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I really don't understand all the comments? I am an aspie and was wondering about this book but the comments are off putting, are they advertisements to endorse the book or spam, I'm confused.



Re: Loving Someone with Aspergerís Syndrome (Score: 1)
by jcarmel Sunday, April 21 @ 02:21:57 EDT
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I have this book! As an NT partner of an aspie, I found it very helpful. Some books dehumanize and invalidate the AS partner's feelings, but I feel like this book is written in a way that helps both partners understand each other.


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