Married to Someone with Asperger's - Advice for Wives
written by: Debbie Roome
• edited by: Paul Arnold
• updated: 10/22/2010
Men with Asperger’s syndrome do marry and although their condition can cause problems in marriage, it also brings some positive traits. If wives are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their husband, it can make for a stronger marriage.
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Characteristics of Asperger Syndrome Husbands
Men with Asperger’s syndrome typically mature later than those without it. As teens and young men, they are often emotionally immature and have poor social skills. As time passes, however, they can develop to a point where they are able to enter into a relationship with a woman.
Because men with Asperger’s tend to talk and act differently to other men, they commonly attract a specific type of woman. Their wives are often caring and nurturing and have strong protective instincts. In many ways they become a link between their husband and society. Some men with Asperger’s syndrome fall in love with foreign women who are often more accepting of their personality quirks.
A husband with Asperger’s is often attracted to a woman who shares his interests or passions and this can form a good basis for their relationship. In marriage, the man displays great devotion to his partner and is reliable, honest and faithful.
On the negative side, he can be emotionally and physically detached and become focused on a special interest to the exclusion of his wife. Although he genuinely loves her, he does not know how to show this in a practical way.
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Wise Advice for Wives with Asperger Syndrome Husbands
Older husbands may display the signs of Asperger’s syndrome without having been diagnosed in their younger years. Other men may be aware of their condition and their parents may have prepared them for adult life through specific training and therapy.
A wife needs to understand her husband’s background in order to work with him on their marriage. She will need patience and perseverance as well as understanding that he functions on a different emotional level to her. Positive traits such as faithfulness and reliability are bonuses and she can encourage her man by praising him for these.
A husband with Asperger’s syndrome often has a specific area of weakness in marriage and open communication about this can benefit both partners. They often do not feel the need to express love and a wife can help them understand that this is important. Discussions about how to display affection, holding hands in public and buying small gifts can be beneficial, but don’t be surprised if the results are amusing. It’s important to look at the husband’s motives rather than his actual behavior.
A man with Asperger’s syndrome often has a particular interest or hobby. While this may border on obsessional, the wife would do well to show interest in it. It may even become something they can do together. Having said that, a person with Asperger’s syndrome needs time alone. Often the best thing a wife can do is give her husband the freedom of a few hours alone while she visits friends or goes shopping.
Men with Asperger’s syndrome do marry and while wives can be frustrated by their lack of emotion and physical contact, their husbands do bring strengths into the relationship. If there is open communication, the wife can help her man to improve in areas of weakness and encourage him in the things he is naturally good at.
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The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, Tony Attwood, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008