Hidden Disabilities

One would never know by looking at me that I have a disability. Sometimes I which it was visible. I found it frustrating until I received an official disability status from the government. Up until then I was always worried if I told people about my special education, especially when interviewing for jobs right out of college, I did not know how they would react. I did not have great grades nor did I have a job or a lot extra activity to put on my resume. When I was able to find work after college, I faced some personal attacks from supervisors. I had one tell me I would never amount to much in life and just do the job he offered me. I had another supervisor where I experienced reverse discrimination. I have had co workers accuse me of being a racist without even knowing me or witnessing anything racist in any of my behavior. When I married outside my race I felt I could relate to my ex wife because we had some similar challenges. She gave me some insight to what she and many people go through. For example, we would go into to a large store and the cashier would say hi to me but not her. I took part in a peaceful protest because of my marriage experience but also for my own experiences in the workplace. I found that most people were grateful for me showing up. I had kept quiet out of fear for many years.

Aspergers Needs in a Marriage/Relationship

People with Aspergers need a safe environment where he/she can control the energy that comes in from the world. If they do not have a safe space during extreme stress they will experience regression in the coping skills that they have built. The fall back will effect their health.  They typically need lots of alone time to recharge.    
I have a need to develop skills to control meltdowns. Too many topics, too many decisions. My meltdowns will come as a result of accumulations of stress and I will not notice it is happening till it is too late. I have to learn to tame my noisy brain and control low tolerance for anxiety.  Anxiety makes executive functions worse. If my partner “gets on my case”, it will escalate anxiety then everything will fall apart. My partner need to to speak in calm tones and have patience if you want results.   
People with Aspergers suffer immensely and they need professional guidance and support groups.  It is also important for your partner to seek therapy if there are problems in the relationship with an AS person who may have issues around temper or dealing with stress. Otherwise it can lead to violence. 
They need warning for any changes in routine and an adjustment period; no sudden or major changes. While most people can make a change in plans quickly and easily, it is difficult for a person with AS. Changes/ transition has to be slow and gradual.  Take your time to allow for your partner to get the comfortable with the transition. Do not move quickly.   
Aspergers brain or operating system is developed differently than other people. Defensiveness is a natural self protection for Aspies and irrational temper creates a problem in communication. They think in black and white.  
Email, letters and other forms of long distance communication can some times work better than in person communication because the person doesn’t have to deal with nonverbal cues. 
For change to happen, it must be logical. A person with AS needs to know the details on how to make the change and they need to practice the change to make it permanent and conditions have to be optimal for change to occur.   
People with AS need finite rules and to follow a schedule. They can be obsessive-compulsive. They are also very distractible.  
My mother uses to say as a kid I would rather take apart things than deal with other kids.  But I could never put the toys back together. Your heart can be broken day after day by the confusing behaviors of someone with Aspergers Syndrome. Focus on the qualities you admire in your Asbergers loved one. 

Dating After Marriage

I have been divorced now for 2 years. Dating after marriage is very anxiety provoking for me. I did not date when I was younger like most people do and I was very naive for my age. Managing my issues and adjusting to marriage was very tough the first year. I got a staph infection due to the stress my now ex-wife caused when she moved to Idaho.  It took me a year to regain my health. It took me 4 years to gain the strength to divorce her.  Being on the spectrum I took my marriage vows very seriously, to the letter. Now I can add to those vows that it does not include abuse. I was her 5th husband and today I would never be with a person that has been married that many times. Since she was accepting of me with my Asbergers, I gave her a chance.

I did learn that due to my issues I need lots of down time in a relationship to destress. I question my ability to live with a person in a traditional way. I have now learned that I can not meet the obligations society has placed on men in general in regards to marriage.

Over the past year and a half I have been on 4 different dating sites. I met with women in different settings. I wanted to see if other women of color would treat me as my ex-wife did. I found that color does not define how a person treats another. Emotional abuse crosses all races and cultures.

I was challenged by a friend to meet 30 ladies. I managed to meet 29 ladies over a year and a half. I met some very nice women during this time. My goal was not to date any seriously but to listen and learn.

When I first started to meet women I felt motivated. I have now lost my motivation to meet a new special person. I was frustrated in some ways that the experience seemed like job interviews.  Out of frustration I put together a dating resume that helps me, like a script, on a first date, but didn’t share the resume with anyone.

My desire is to meet a person that understands Asbergers and is self-supporting. I am at a good place at this point in my life and have a lot of positive things to offer. I am struggling with how to have a friendly relationship without being taken advantage of. I am setting limits, but that may mean ending a relationship, which is probably for the best in the long run.

I have regressed to earlier in my life where I felt a lack of confidence to handle a relationship due to my challenges. I now feel a relationship is like a job that I do not qualify for. I am trying to find the middle ground in today’s dating world. Will someone choose me? I hope so, although I am different, I do not fit into society’s box, I am kind and loving.