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How about a relationship with an Aspie? A lot like tennis, it is full of rules and procedures!

Aspie, Anyone?

How about a relationship with an Aspie? A lot like tennis, it is full of rules and procedures. If you're already in one, you probably realize it and are trying to figure out how in the heck you are going to survive!

I have been married to a man with Asperger syndrome for nearly a year, and it has been anything but dull or ordinary. Extremely loving and nurturing, he can also be self-centered in some ways.

Aspergers is on the autism spectrum. "Autism" or "auto-ism" is just that - an"  ism", or condition of the self (auto). It's all about one's self. They are the center of the universe!

Marriage in such a scenario isn't an all-for-one and one for all proposition. At least MY marriage isn't. What's his is his and what's mine is mine. My medical issues and bills have nothing to do with him, nor does my "financial plight", as he puts it. He plays on his side of the court and I play on mine, but he always plays fair. He never cheats, lies or steals. Our net is always in the middle of the court and we split the cost of everything to do with our marriage right down the middle. I would never have a reason to distrust him for anything, and i would fully trust him with all of my money and jewelry. Love is off the court and of one-ness. He loves me endlessly and completely. I am his "sun, moon and stars".

Back to tennis and Asperger's.  You see, he categorizes everything. Love is in one box, his money's in another, our equally contributed grocery fund is in another, his entertainment is in another, and so on. It isn't his fault that I don't make as much money as he does, yet his $7k, a month and 401k is not enough to have me in his life.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize all this before we married. I thought our marriage was going to be like a "normal" one, where we both contribute whatever it takes to stay together, as true love would make it natural.

Not the case. On April 3rd, he decided to divorce me. Not because he didn't love me, but because his life is just that separate from mine. He just didn't want to be financially liable for me.

Money wasn't the only conflict. He would go on rampages over petty things, talking emphatically and incessantly for long periods of time. What he would call an argument, I would call a conversation. One such recent "conversation" put us over the edge. The topic - what side of the street one is supposed to walk on. That conversation resulted in my name being removed from the condo we were going to buy jointly, with equal funds, then to divorce. All his choice. He couldn't manage the pressure of social anxiety being in these types of conversations. Feeling more adjusted now, after many weeks of grief, we both still love each other very much.

We didn't discuss things before we married. The importance of understanding all of the details before falling deeply in love cannot be over-stated. Don't expect anything from them, but be willing to give more than they can. This includes your patience, your heart, and all other contributions. Be financially prepared to carry your own load and maybe even some of theirs. Respect their space. My little piles of papers on the desk overloaded my neat nick husband's circuit boards.

YOUR  Aspie mate may not be able to adjust to your world! You may have to adjust to theirs. When it comes to conflict "save it for group" may be out of the question. Most likely they wont go, and if they do, they can come on pretty strong and opinionated - or completely shut down all together. It might be like giving them a lacrosse thingy or handing them a cell phone on their "playing court", while you're still playing with a  tennis racket! Just accept and love them for who they are.

Susan Johanningmeier