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Tips for Being in a Relationship With a Man Who Has Asperger's or Autism

By Rheyanne Weaver HERWriter
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Being involved in a successful romantic relationship can be difficult for most people. Consider all the breakup self-help books available, the movies portraying cheating significant others, constant fighting and dramatic breakups, and your own relationship history.

Do you think these difficulties increase or decrease for someone with a mental disorder? Let’s just say that it’s not easy to have a relationship while trying to function “normally” in the world.

For people who have Asperger’s disorder or autistic disorder, social interaction is complicated. Although people with Asperger’s are thought to have high-functioning autism, they still have social problems. For example, people with Asperger’s don’t contribute as much socially and emotionally, and they don’t know how to use nonverbal behaviors as well, like eye contact, according to an abnormal psychology textbook.

Interaction and emotional reciprocity are important in relationships, so it’s no wonder that it would be a challenge for someone with Asperger’s or autism to be in a relationship. Although this doesn’t happen for everyone, it’s a stereotype that someone with these disorders will not share his or her emotions as frequently. For example, they might not say “I love you” or show affection as often, because they don’t understand and express emotions as well as the typical person.

If you decide to be in a relationship with someone who has Asperger’s or autism, it seems there are some things you have to consider to help the relationship work. Keep in mind, this may not apply to everyone who has Asperger’s or autism. There is the proposed autism spectrum disorder, which places autism and Asperger’s together. Basic symptoms will be the same, but specifics may differ.

This is what I have observed after being in a short relationship with someone who thought he had Asperger’s and through reading different articles:

1) Don’t assume the other person is uninterested, just because he isn’t telling you he likes you or finds you attractive. Decide what you think of him and let him know.

Add a Comment59 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

The writing was on the wall, the sirens were blaring, something was off but i could not pin point it. I thought i was dealing with a sociopath or a narcissist. After reading this article it is completely clear the man I loved had aspergers. Maybe if I had read this earlier I would have better understood his frame of mind. Maybe he loved me I dont know. He never complimented me I have no idea what he even saw in me. His treatment wasn't better he would not call for over a week or send a text. I could have been in the hospital and he wouldn't have known.
He was brutally honest with me a few times. I value honesty and literally hate liars but this person's honesty left me feeling hurt and insulted. Looking back I want to laugh but when you care about someone and their honesty is like ripping a piece of your soul it is a no go. I cant deal with that. I need to be with people who support me.

October 20, 2014 - 11:49pm
EmpowHER Guest

How can I tell if a guy has Aspberger or ADD? He swears he has ADD but I want to know how to tell the difference if there is one.

September 29, 2014 - 2:35pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

If you google a bit you'll discover that many times, those two (or ADHD) go together. Many times, the AD(H)D is earlier diagnosed. What makes you think he has Asperger's?

October 9, 2014 - 1:14pm
EmpowHER Guest

So relieved to read that the partners of AS have been through so much and yet have remained strong and supportive of the AS spouses/partners. Thanks for sharing.

August 8, 2014 - 10:09am
EmpowHER Guest

Pretty sad stories I just read here. I quit the relationship with a man I dearly love(d). I couldn't understand his distant behaviour. Very quickly he wanted to get married, but it was all too soon for me. I doubted a lot. How could say he loved me and wanting to get married, while he hardly knew me personally? He didn't ask about my past, my family, my thought, feelings or dreams. Heart to heart conversations were absent. Then what is it he loved about me? My taking care of him and being there for him? In the end of our relationship, he suddenly demanded certain things from me, things that he had read in the bible. He took them to an extreme, as his world view is black and white. Never in my life I felt as lonely, unwanted, unseen and uncherished as in my time with him. I almost ignored my feelings, out of love for him. But neither of us would have been happy together. Although it broke my heart, I left him. Of course he didn't understand and the sad thing is.... he never will. And I.... I left the love of my life behind, for my own sanity.

June 11, 2014 - 2:53pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I too was in the same situation and still am. The relationship has left me weak and feeling unwanted and confused but I promised him that I would never leave regardless of our situation. I would always be there for him but there are times when I disappear for 10 days and he doesn't look for me. I know it bothers him because he acts strangely after but it's the only way I can reset my brain to deal with him again. He doesn't I know of his situation. He has a hard time talking about feelings and refuses to explain why..I know why now!

November 6, 2014 - 11:20am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi, I'm the woman you responded to. Sorry to hear about your situation. It's horrible that it has left you weak and feeling unwanted and confused. What made you promise him to stay no matter what? Who's is taking care of YOU? There are a lot of women in your situation on the website I mentioned here twice. That might help and encourage you a bit. I wish you love!

November 17, 2014 - 11:51pm
jek12 (reply to Anonymous)

I just broke off an engagement and postponed a wedding indefinitely with a man I so deeply love and cherish for the reasons you described. It is painful but so was the relationship at times. I felt I was beginning to compromise myself and my values at a certain point. They say in marriage it is the little things that matter. I want to feel loved regularly ie daily, not alone most days.

August 31, 2014 - 7:13am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to jek12)

And this article is eye opening as well:


September 29, 2014 - 1:03pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to jek12)

Well, I think you did the right thing! There is a very helpful website for wives or girlfriends of men with Asperger's, called aspergerwife dot web dot com. Very helpful! Everytime when I read it, I feel like I escaped a horrible future (although I still love the guy) (I'm the one that you responded to by the way)

September 29, 2014 - 12:49pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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