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If you are involved in a relationship with a person who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, officially known as high-functioning autism (HFA), you’re likely familiar with this scenario: You have a discussion with your partner. In this case, you have to struggle with the realization that your partner did not mean to hurt you.
This is different from other conversations that go off the rails.
It seems that most people in society are trying to either get of one, or trying to work out why their present relationship is so difficult!
So for the average person on the autistic spectrum, relationships can add an extra layer of complication in an already confusing life.
From an educational perspective, there are enormous implications that might make the difference between being helpful to a neurotypical partner in an HFA-neurotypical partnership and being not so helpful.
What may look like self-centeredness or even narcissism in your story is more likely to be your legitimate expression of not feeling heard by your HFA partner.
There was no intent to abuse, but you are reeling just the same. Do you deny it because you understand it was not inflicted intentionally? These are two time-honored methods used by many of the individuals who come to my office for counseling regarding this aspect of their relationships.
It is a triaging tool in that it allows a couple to move forward knowing what they are dealing with in their interpersonal communication. At the very least, recognize that if you feel hurt, it is because you ARE in pain, regardless of intent or circumstances. Good is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy.
Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptom or medical condition.
From a personal point of view, I frequently get myself into confrontational situations.
Often this is because I misjudge my partners mood or intentions, and sometimes appear uninterested in their feelings.