I know, I know, anyone who has read about relationships with Asperger’s partners hears a lot of venting and bashing and blaming. It’s human nature to vent a little, and to slant things toward our own point of view.
But with this young lady, this wasn’t the case at all.
She sincerely – like many of us – wanted to understand her partner. To make his life better, and know whether he could adjust to new situations. To deal with issues that come up when one lives and deals with Asperger’s Syndrome every single day.
People like this are out there.
For those of you who cynically view the world and believe that people are only out for themselves, take a moment and let a little bit of light in. Not everyone is built this way. There are many caring and understanding people out there, people who are willing to go the extra mile to make things work.
Now, it’s understandable how a lifetime of teasing and bullying, of being made fun of and treated poorly by others, can lead to a cynical outlook. It’s terribly sad, but understandable.
All the same, good people do exist.
And yes, they can deal with a little oddity (who wants normal and boring, anyway?). They can deal with the occasional meltdown. They can handle a few ritual behaviors (needing to check things, wash hands, whatever it is), respect the need for privacy, and provide a quieter, scent-free atmosphere (okay, it may hurt to part with that favorite rose-scented – or stinky, depending on viewpoint – shampoo, but it can be done).
And while we may struggle from time to time to understand, we recognize that, hey, we’re not all that perfect ourselves. We have issues, too, every single one of us. Nobody comes without baggage of some sort.
Daily, I’m thankful that my husband puts up with my problems. They are many, and not always easy to cope with.
So whenever those uniquely AS issues – whether it’s about fear of change, anxiety, becoming overwhelmed, needing quiet, specific clothing requirements, social difficulties, reluctance to join a family gathering, and so on – come up, please remember that we’re learning. We’re willing to learn, and we’re wanting to understand.
You have a lot to offer.
In return, please recognize our value and treat us the way you would like to be treated. Hear us out (I know it’s hard), and try to be flexible when possible. We really do appreciate the sacrifices you make for us, and know that you put up with noise when you’d prefer quiet, handle people when you’d rather be alone, tolerate conversation when you’d rather escape, and agree to nonsensical and ridiculous things just because you know it matters to us.
Oh, and don’t forget to always dodge that trick question about the way we look. We always look good, regardless of hair or clothing style. At the very least, we always look like that fantastic person you love. 😉
Good luck out there.
Note: Kudos to those of you who go that extra mile, no matter which side of the relationship you represent. Even if things don’t work out, you’ve brought a gift to that other person that may affect and change him/her for the rest of his life.