I know he is dependent on me for his social and family life, not to mention finances.
I want to continue to have him as a friend, and will continue to help him.
Still others refuse to accept the possibility that they may have AS – and are offended when the issue is raised. Some males with AS may have become defensive as years have passed and are difficult to confront or reason with.
This is often the result of bullying and exclusion by their peers when they were younger. Teamwork may pose a problem, and the AS man may function better if he is in a separate office without noise or distracting social interaction. When courting a lady, an AS man may come across as quiet and reserved.
Notice I said “traits” – not “character flaws.” We’re talking about symptoms that come with having the disorder.
And the affected person often has little - or no - control over most of these symptoms.
The pet is a friend that does not place demands on the man and accepts him as he is. AS males may seem set in their ways and can appear to be selfish or insensitive.
They may speak without weighing how their words will affect others. AS men have been known to pass blame onto other people. AS men have been known to explode over relatively minor things (e.g., a burnt meal, a missing book, etc.). However, the man may feel that he is a “bad” person to behave in such a way, yet feels powerless to change. In a romantic relationship, the AS man may resist physical touch and public or private displays of affection. Job interviews often pose a problem since the AS man has impaired social skills and may not respond appropriately, or may misread the interviewer’s body language. Males with AS have normally spent decades learning how to get by in life. Males with AS often have a reputation for being cranky and difficult.
If I had parents or other family members or friends I could rely on for love and emotional support in my life, perhaps I could stand this marriage. We have been to 3 different marriage counselors, I have been to counseling alone, and I have read dozens of books (he has read none as the only problem he sees is my dissatisfaction with him!
But unfortunately, it is too often the case that the “neurotypical” (i.e., non-Asperger’s) wife/partner views these traits as “defects that could be corrected if the man would just try harder,” resulting in the wife/partner feeling depreciated, unloved and resentful (which is truly the downside of AS for men). As a woman with AS who has been happily married for almost 30 years to a man with AS, the mother of a daughter and four sons who are all on the spectrum, the grandmother of little Spectrumites and as a fully human being with a complete range of emotions I would like to say that it is the mis-match between different neurologies that causes most of the problems.
Oh, and I'm the daughter and grand-daughter of Spectrumites too.
In an effort to save face and protect their fragile self-esteem, these males may blame others for things that they should take responsibility for themselves. People around them assume that they are simply ill-tempered or prefer their own company. Many AS males often desire friends, but may also be considered loners.
Typically they have a much lower capacity for social interaction than a “typical” man. Many AS men have learned to lie to help them cope with life.