This fabulous series on “Lessons from an Asperger’s-NT Marriage” hit home with me. In it, the author explores how she, with Asperger’s, relates to her “NT” (neuro-typical) husband of twenty-five years. She writes:
[I]f you’re in an Aspergers-neurotypical marriage, you didn’t get there by accident. You’ve made a deliberate choice to share your life in what is essentially a cross-cultural partnership. Like any cross-cultural exchange, an aspie-NT marriage can be a rewarding experience or a nightmare.
…It hasn’t always been easy. Sometimes it’s been damn near impossible. More than once we’ve considered whether we might be better off apart than together. But we’ve also found some surprising benefits to our aspie-NT partnership. Hopefully some of what we’ve learned will be helpful to other couples that have taken on the challenge of making an Aspergers-NT marriage work.
I’m so proud of them in reading their story. I have known couples who ran out their married lives never knowing what it was that always kept them at loggerheads. The disagreements the author describes are very like the ones I was often witness to, although what I witnessed never had any resolution because there was never any diagnosis and both parties assumed they were right and the other was wrong. I find myself wondering, what if they’d known what the underlying issues were? What if they’d been able to gain the psychological tools and communication skills that would have allowed them to cope better with the situation? What if there had been more understanding and less judgment? More patience and less taking things personally? How would everyone’s lives have been better?
What if, what if. These things are no longer possible with the people I knew, at least not in their marriage. The author of the series above didn’t find out she had Asperger’s until she was 42. Rather than tear her to bits, this information helped her to understand herself better.
In my book Daddy Issues, I offer a ray of hope that with new understanding, the NT half of a relationship can at least find some closure and peace. I’m beginning to feel that early discovery is a blessing to all concerned, because everyone deserves to know what’s going on. Knowledge is power; understanding is empowerment. On all points of the neuro-spectrum.
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