WrongPlanet.net
WP Members: > 80,000



Aspie Affection

New Today: 3
New Yesterday: 24

Fighting with my boyfriend...any advice? 1, 2  Next  
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Wrong Planet Autism Forum Index -> Love and Dating     
fragileclover
Phoenix
Phoenix


Joined: May 22, 2009
Posts: 505

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:22 pm    Post subject: Fighting with my boyfriend...any advice? Reply with quote

I've been with my boyfriend for 2.5 years. I initially turned him down three times because I was afraid of getting very close to someone, and having them notice my aspie traits...I'm very good at hiding them, for the most part. Anyway, I came to really like him, and because he shares my special interest (film/movies...we met in film school), I was able to talk to him more than I could to other people. For the first year of our relationship, he was still living at home with incredibly strict parents, so our time together was fairly limited. At this point in our relationship, however, we are probably together 6 days of the week, and my true colors are really showing.

In the beginning, I did try to bring up to him the possibility that I might have Aspergers (I am not formally diagnosed, due to financial restraints and the fact that I function very well day-to-day), starting by pointing out or asking him if he had noticed certain things about me, among them: my frequent complaining that tickling physically hurts, my need to understand the why behind a question or remark (for instance, just yesterday, he asked if I had $2 cash on me, and while I did not, I still proceeded to ask him why and what for before telling him no...not to lead him on, but because I genuinely felt I had to know the reason), my contentedness just sitting in the same room with him but doing our own individual things (he is FINALLY ok with this...he always felt he should be entertaining me, and couldn't grasp that I didn't mind doing my own thing), how I frequently forget to introduce him to other people, my lack of friends whom I hang out with (in truth, the people I call my friends are actually my co-workers, and we may hang out once a month together, mostly less, and the only other friends I have that I do hang out with are mutual friends between my boyfriend and I), etc etc.

Anyway, he brushed me off pretty quickly, saying that I was perfectly fine and nothing was wrong with me, and so I decided to keep quiet and not bring it up again, since it didn't seem to be effecting our relationship.

HOWEVER, we've now had several fights that have resulted from the SAME THING EVERY TIME. I was finally forced to bring up the whole aspergers thing again last night, 2 years later. I felt so desperate. Here is what happened:

Before leaving for school in the morning, he indicated that he did not want to drive (he never wants to drive). Moments before, I had asked him if we could hang out with our mutual friends tonight (on Tuesdays they monitor a computer lab at our old school), and he said that he didn't want to. So, I told him I'd drive if we could hang out with our friends later, pending I got out of class early. He agreed, but not before I reminded him that he'd had to do 20 minutes of extra driving to come back and get his car later (I live about 30 minutes away from him, our friends, my work, etc...so I am constantly doing extra driving). Anyway, I get out of class 2 HOURS EARLY, and am very excited because we'll have more time to hang out (he's completely confused why I get so excited about hanging out...he doesn't realize it's a pretty big thing for me), and he tells me that no, we are not going. I immediately get upset and tell him he had promised earlier, as part of our deal. Finally, he agrees. Then, he realizes he'll have to do the extra driving (which he claims he never heard me say), and again decides we are not going. I become very upset at this point, turn my back, and walk away. Of course, we drive together, so it eventually began to escalate in the car because he couldn't possibly understand why some small little thing could upset me so much, when, in fact, this exact scenario has played out at least 5 times in recent memory! He knows darn well it upsets me! He keeps referencing 'scale', as in, I shouldn't be upset that he went back on his word on something so 'small,' and I keep trying to explain to him that I don't scale things like that, that if you give me your word, I don't care what it is, I expect you to follow through. I take words VERY seriously, and at face value. You say, yes, we are doing this, and that means YES. not maybe, not I might change my mind. The change in plans completely throws me off.

Anyway, we spent 4 hours over the phone after each of us got home, just talking in circles, saying the same old crap, him saying he doesn't get it, and me trying to explain it. He told me that people simply do not take words at face value (ha!), that it's not how people 'work.' I tried explaining that I don't work the same way. He told me I am fine in social situations, and then proceeded to list a bunch of examples that involved me talking about my special interest! duh! He said that I am creating a bunch of convenient excuses, and that I should simply be able to remain calm when plans change and move on. Anyway, I finally blurted out the whole Aspergers thing, and he didn't really respond. So, I kept talking and tried to come up with a solution. I told him that if he doesn't feel he can commit to something, then he should say maybe, with a reasonable expectation that he should decide sometime later in the day when he has more information, that way, I don't have any expectations. He said this sounded like 'work'...ha! if only he knew how tough it will be for me to accept 'maybe' as an answer! lol but, maybe won't make me angry, confused, upset and will not cause me to cry and yell like a change of plans does!

After we got off the phone, I searched for articles about Aspies in relationships and women with Aspergers and forwarded them along to him. Guess I'll wait and see if he actually reads them. Do you guys have any articles you would suggest or blogs that talk about relationships with Aspies (female aspies, in particular), or aspergers in women in general? I just feel if he reads them and recognizes me in these articles, that he'll at least be willing to listen to me, and we can try to work this out. He feels like I constantly blame him and don't accept any blame myself, but I'm calling him out for going back on his word, and he's calling me out for having such a big problem with it...which I've freely admitted to! Yeah, I do have a problem with it. Why give your word if you don't mean it? No matter how 'small' the promise?

Thanks for reading!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
AngelRho
Synclavier owner/operator
Phoenix


Joined: Jan 05, 2008
Posts: 4945
Location: The Landmass between N.O. and Mobile

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, fragile! You sound almost exactly like a female version of ME. We should trade partners for a weekend.

Actually, that whole thing about being EXACTLY here or doing exactly that and so on is, no offense, probably something women in general tend to be more sensitive about. And I think we guys tend to be more forgetful in relation to our mates. So I've learned to be very aloof in my relationship, rarely making promises unless I have a degree of certainty I can keep those promises. It might sound mean, but it avoids the same kind of trouble your bf is getting into with you.

On the other hand, women in general tend to want guys who can make and keep commitments. That's a good thing. But you have to be careful that the commitments being made are the ones that really matter. You have to take care and learn how to pick your battles. If it's REALLY worth it to make an issue over something, fight to the death if necessary. Just don't be surprised if someone gets hurt in the process. When you get what you want, do not say any more about it and be SILENTLY content with your victory. Guys hate it when girls rub it in, and do not apologize.

I've been with my mate for 11 years now. She's WONDERFUL. But she wasn't always very "submissive." She had previously been in a horribly abusive relationship, and the first thing I had to do was get her to trust men again and get her to relearn who SHE was, not who her bf shaped her into. She is a very bold and assertive person and even a capable mom. But she also understands me well enough (she should by now!) to know where it is I won't bend at all. She knows because of AS she can't make any severe demands on me or I'll just shut down. On the other hand, I'm better handling the kids and she's better at keeping the house clean, such that it is. So we complement each other as a pair. We almost NEVER have actual fights.

So...

From one aspie to another, learn to "go with the flow" rather than challenging every little thing you don't like. Certain things I WILL NOT bend on, but as for what happens in the house and how I interact with people socially, my wife is the real brains behind the operation and I more often do what she wants than not. I don't mind doing the work, but you have to actually TELL me. I understand my own boundaries, and so many things that would have bugged me a few years ago don't bug me anymore. I know that my wife is taking care of things, and that's enough.

Now, there ARE things I want to do, and I do have goals which requires me to think and do for myself. Special interests, you know. The problem I have too often is that to get things done I need to interact with other humans. PHEAR. The problem I've had all my life is that if I have a great idea and try to tell someone what I want to do, they tell me "No, that won't work because..." But the next guy can say EXACTLY the same thing and it's like "Hey, that's a GREAT idea! Let's do it!" So that's been a constant source of depression. My wife, on the other hand, is the kind of person who CAN persuade people to do things a certain way. So if she's the public face on my private plans, I can get a lot of things done.

And while I'm not really seen as an authority figure, I thrive where I can be the "power behind the throne." I'm getting a piece that I wrote for orchestra performed at my church's Christmas program, and it was simply a matter of imagining what I wanted to do, getting our worship leader to listen to what I had in mind, and off we go.

The point is that couples like us have some kind of balancing focal-point. Finding that balance is the means by which we survive in relationships. My wife is the actual brains and work in our household while I'm still a household leader in my own right. Most of the time she has the run of things, but I ALWAYS hold veto power. I think the true power of the veto is in extremely rare use of it. The mentality I encourage with my wife and my children is "never ask permission." Take the initiative, get things done. If you get in trouble, just claim ignorance, promise to never do it again, and move on.

And to accomplish this, there has to be some kind of "flow" in the relationship. If you want the relationship to grow, don't disrupt the flow unless you're flowing into dangerous waters. It's amazing how many "problems" actually do tend to solve themselves.

Good luck. I know how frustrating it can be when working through conflict. Keep us posted on how you're doing!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tlaltecutli
Emu Egg
Emu Egg


Joined: Nov 10, 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fragileclover,

I'm sorry to hear about your boyfriend troubles. It sounds like he is not listening to you when you explain yourself, and how you have problems when people promise one thing then do another. I suspect he is simply relying on general expectations of what he thinks your relationship is right now, and maybe you two have very different ideas of how serious it is...

I'm male, and I've been happily married for almost ten years to an NT woman. I just recently found out I had AS, and our discovering this fact has been remarkably beneficial -- we never fought a lot, but since the diagnosis (and even since her suspicions a year ago), our relationship is so much better. She understands my bouts of inflexibility, my "need" to go study for hours, especially when I'm stressed, and my problems initiating and sustaining conversation.

That your boyfriend is apparently ignoring (or uninterested in) your issues signals to me that he may not be affording you the respect or attention you deserve in a relationship. Everyone -- even NTs -- have hangups, and odd personality traits, and over-reactions to certain triggers, and you would expect a serious love interest to accept and respect these traits . . .

I certainly am insensitive sometimes, and hurt my wife's feelings, but I am ALWAYS sorry about it and willing to try to understand what I did wrong to hopefully avoid such conflict in the future. I suspect you have had to do certain things to accomodate your boyfriend's idiosyncracies -- like always driving! It's just part of being in a relationship.

I hope this is not too negative, but as a man, this situation gives me the impression that he is simply not that concerned with your feelings or happiness. I hope he comes around for you.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnc
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse


Joined: Oct 11, 2010
Age: 44
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if I'm the only person who, on reading the thread title, thought "Go for the 'nads, it works every time!".

Trying to think about something that would actually be helpful, it seems like he doubts your self diagnosis. I think you need to convince him that what you're telling him is true. Have you tried doing any of the available tests, like the ASQ? If so, would you feel comfortable in showing the test & your answers to him and showing the outcome? I honestly don't know if this would help or not but it's the only thing I can think of.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
LostAndFound
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse


Joined: Oct 07, 2009
Posts: 43
Location: Washington state

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Believe me, I understand how much the change in plans throws you off. But, I think that dealing with most other people in life requires more flexibility and an effort to 'go with the flow' as best you can. My boyfriend changes plans with me an extremely high percentage of the time. I still don't know or understand all of the reasons behind that yet, but I sense that if I showed him how much it upsets me when I plan to spend time with him and then can't, he'd probably dump me pretty quick. I think you might have to decide whether remaining relatively inflexible is worth risking your relationship over because if a guy feels like being in a relationship is too much work for him, he will reach a point where he'd rather move on than continue to struggle. That point is different for different guys, but they all have a limit on how much effort they are willing or able to put into adapting themselves to please another person.

edited to add: Oops, I just went back and read AngelRho's post where he already said "go with the flow". Laughing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
leejosepho
life student
Phoenix


Joined: Sep 15, 2009
Age: 64
Posts: 8286
Location: 200 miles south of Little Rock

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Fighting with my boyfriend...any advice? Reply with quote

fragileclover wrote:
... I'm calling him out for going back on his word, and he's calling me out for having such a big problem with it...which I've freely admitted to! Yeah, I do have a problem with it. Why give your word if you don't mean it? No matter how 'small' the promise?

His word is no good, and I hope you get away from him altogether.
_________________
I began looking for someone like me when I was five ...
My search ended at 59 ... right here on WrongPlanet.
========================================
Each of us serves like a maid-mod
in life, keeping our own slates clean.
===========================
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
AngelRho
Synclavier owner/operator
Phoenix


Joined: Jan 05, 2008
Posts: 4945
Location: The Landmass between N.O. and Mobile

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LostAndFound wrote:
Believe me, I understand how much the change in plans throws you off. But, I think that dealing with most other people in life requires more flexibility and an effort to 'go with the flow' as best you can. My boyfriend changes plans with me an extremely high percentage of the time. I still don't know or understand all of the reasons behind that yet, but I sense that if I showed him how much it upsets me when I plan to spend time with him and then can't, he'd probably dump me pretty quick. I think you might have to decide whether remaining relatively inflexible is worth risking your relationship over because if a guy feels like being in a relationship is too much work for him, he will reach a point where he'd rather move on than continue to struggle. That point is different for different guys, but they all have a limit on how much effort they are willing or able to put into adapting themselves to please another person.

edited to add: Oops, I just went back and read AngelRho's post where he already said "go with the flow". Laughing


Aw, Lost! I'm honored! =) An "accidental" quote is the best concurrence.

You said "he'd...dump me pretty quick." Speaking from a male perspective, I would have to agree, depending on the circumstances. One of the longest relationships I'd ever been in (prior to this one) came at a time when I was aware that SOMETHING was wrong with me, I just had no idea what AS even was--never even heard of it. I got in a lot of trouble with her because she demanded ALL of my spare time--not just part of it, and I ended up compromising a lot of things that were important to me because she was so demanding. And I could never say what I meant in the right words, couldn't prioritize to suit her exactly, was NEVER good enough in any way, and all she'd do was reassure me that at each progressive stage of our relationship (leading up to our wedding) that this would solve that problem or that would get better, etc. But I just realized that I couldn't place all my bets on "getting better if..." Things weren't getting better, and I had no good reason to think they would if we got married. So I cut her loose and married one of her would-be bridesmaids.

I don't think fragile's relationship is over, though. It has hit a bump, but it's not over. My wife and I rarely if ever fight, but we've hit our fair share of snags. We came out of ugly relationships in the past and strained home lives to know we wanted our relationship to be nothing like that. As a result, we're constantly on guard about what we say to each other and especially what we say around our children. Those kinds of bonds actually reinforce each other, a kind of feedback loop preventing a lot of the "normal" hangups most couple have to deal with. If it took over 2 years for things to get ugly even once, you're not doing too bad.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
leejosepho
life student
Phoenix


Joined: Sep 15, 2009
Age: 64
Posts: 8286
Location: 200 miles south of Little Rock

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AngelRho wrote:
If it took over 2 years for things to get ugly even once ...

Looking past an immediate first-glance: What price had been paid to get this far, and how much longer can it be paid at all?

My wife and I get along well, but not because either of us now compromises anything about ourselves in order to do so. We did unwittingly try that for a few years, however, and that ultimately failed each of us.

If a woman cannot rely upon her own man's word to be good, where shall she turn when some true trustworthiness is needed?
_________________
I began looking for someone like me when I was five ...
My search ended at 59 ... right here on WrongPlanet.
========================================
Each of us serves like a maid-mod
in life, keeping our own slates clean.
===========================
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
AngelRho
Synclavier owner/operator
Phoenix


Joined: Jan 05, 2008
Posts: 4945
Location: The Landmass between N.O. and Mobile

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leejosepho wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
If it took over 2 years for things to get ugly even once ...

Looking past an immediate first-glance: What price had been paid to get this far, and how much longer can it be paid at all?

My wife and I get along well, but not because either of us now compromises anything about ourselves in order to do so. We did unwittingly try that for a few years, however, and that ultimately failed each of us.

If a woman cannot rely upon her own man's word to be good, where shall she turn when some true trustworthiness is needed?


For the most part I agree, and neither I nor my wife compromise now--compromise leads to conflict which leads to more compromise which leads to...

But come on, nobody's perfect!!!! Give 'em a chance, willya?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fragileclover
Phoenix
Phoenix


Joined: May 22, 2009
Posts: 505

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really appreciate all of your responses...I've found them all to be very insightful and useful to me in sorting this stuff out.

I love my boyfriend very much, and do not feel that we are over...but feel we're at a weird crossroads where I've finally kind of confessed all of my 'dirty little secrets' (i.e. Aspergers) and now I'm waiting for him to process. Problem is, he doesn't seem to want to process them right now.

I agree that he is likely having a lot of trouble with my self-diagnosis, which is understandable, but wish he would trust that I know myself better than anyone. To say that I can't feel or think a certain way simply because that's 'not how people think' is just plain silly! I will retake some of the online tests and show him my results...maybe that will bring him around enough that we can really talk about it.

Thanks, again! =)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gremmie
Phoenix
Phoenix


Joined: Aug 04, 2008
Age: 27
Posts: 915
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm slightly confused by your transport arrangements. Were you driving your car and had he left his car at yours?
Honestly that situation would have upset me quite a lot as well. If you agree you're going to do something you should do it, or at least give someone slightly more warning that plans have changed.
The way I often plan things is I decide "tonight I'm going to do this" and my boyfriend is welcome to join me or not. In that situation, rather than asking him if 'we' could, I'd have said "I'm going to" and left him to sort out his own transport if he didn't want to join me. Enforcing the fact that we are independent people means that my boyfriend's ability to mess up my plans is considerably limited.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
leejosepho
life student
Phoenix


Joined: Sep 15, 2009
Age: 64
Posts: 8286
Location: 200 miles south of Little Rock

PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gremmie wrote:
Enforcing the fact that we are independent people means that my boyfriend's ability to mess up my plans is considerably limited.

There is certainly nothing wrong with that, yet I believe the OP is looking for a secure consistency within a different kind of harmony.
_________________
I began looking for someone like me when I was five ...
My search ended at 59 ... right here on WrongPlanet.
========================================
Each of us serves like a maid-mod
in life, keeping our own slates clean.
===========================
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Gremmie
Phoenix
Phoenix


Joined: Aug 04, 2008
Age: 27
Posts: 915
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

leejosepho wrote:
Gremmie wrote:
Enforcing the fact that we are independent people means that my boyfriend's ability to mess up my plans is considerably limited.

There is certainly nothing wrong with that, yet I believe the OP is looking for a secure consistency within a different kind of harmony.


That's fair. I guess I just thought I'd suggest it as I used to get upset when my boyfriend changed plans, and that's personally the best way I've found to get around that.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
leejosepho
life student
Phoenix


Joined: Sep 15, 2009
Age: 64
Posts: 8286
Location: 200 miles south of Little Rock

PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gremmie wrote:
That's fair. I guess I just thought I'd suggest it as I used to get upset when my boyfriend changed plans, and that's personally the best way I've found to get around that.

I thank you for being understanding there. It was certainly not my intent to condemn your own practice.
_________________
I began looking for someone like me when I was five ...
My search ended at 59 ... right here on WrongPlanet.
========================================
Each of us serves like a maid-mod
in life, keeping our own slates clean.
===========================
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
LostAndFound
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse


Joined: Oct 07, 2009
Posts: 43
Location: Washington state

PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leejosepho wrote:
If a woman cannot rely upon her own man's word to be good, where shall she turn when some true trustworthiness is needed?


God is probably the best answer to that question. I personally have never encountered a truly trustworthy man who would want to be my man. Therefore, the reliability and trustworthiness of some fine men I've known has been of very limited use to me. Cool

Sad as it is, the only person I can semi-rely on is myself.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Wrong Planet Autism Forum Index -> Love and Dating   
1, 2  Next  

 
Read more Articles on Wrong Planet



Wrong Planet is a Registered Trademark.
Copyright 2004-2014, Wrong Planet, LLC and Alex Plank. Alex does public speaking for Autism.

Advertise on Wrong Planet

Alex Hotchalk / Glam 

Alex Plank  Aspie Affection 

Terms of Service - You must read this as a user of Wrong Planet | Privacy Policy

Subscribe: RSS Feed  Wrong Planet News  Wrong Planet Forums




fine art