When Fantasy and Reality Meet

One of the fantasies women tend to embrace when getting married, together with the hope to love and live happily ever after, is the fantasy that their intimate partner will understand them without words, that he will know exactly what to say, when they need a hug and how to support them when they need his help.

In the early days of a relationship, under the illusion of all the love hormones that are being activated, it often seems as if this is exactly the case and that we have met a charming prince that popped up straight from a fairy tale story. However, when time goes by and the enchantment fades away, we need to face reality, which is extremely far from what we have imagined, especially when our partner has autism spectrum disorder or when he is not diagnosed but has many features that suggest that he is probably on the autism spectrum.

What happens is that women find themselves in a relationship where they are mostly the givers of love, attention and different kinds of services and realize that they receive very little from their intimate partners. They often feel as a single parent, taking care of the children and all the household responsibilities, while maintaining a partial or full time job outside the house.

Beyond the unequal distribution of house chores and child care responsibility, many women in mixed neurological relationships suffer from severe loneliness, lack of emotional support and lack of intimacy. They lose their sense of security in the relationship and do not feel loved and cared for.

Women’s expectations that their intimate partner will read their facial expressions and know when they are sad or need affection, are unrealistic if their partner is on the autism spectrum. In many cases, he cannot read and understand their feelings, and even when he does, he has no idea what’s the best thing to do in this kind of situation, so in most cases, he does the wrong thing, or nothing.

I know that it is very difficult to let go of the fantasy that your intimate partner will be able to mind read your intentions and act accordingly. Still, holding on to this fantasy can only lead increasing disappointment in mixed neurological relationships. If you wish to get what you want from your intimate partner, you need to be very upfront and explicit about it and tell him exactly what to do.

It is not going to be spontaneous like it was in your fantasy, but when you say things clearly and ask directly for what you need and want, and when you give clear instructions, you might be surprised to find out that your husband is willing to help, cares about you a lot and wants you to be happy and satisfied.

Dr. Pnina Arad

Consulting and Coaching





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