Beginner’s Guide for Partners with Autism

  • Does your spouse think you have high-functioning autism (formerly known as Asperger’s)?
  • Were you bullied a lot in middle school and high school? Did you avoid other children when you were little?
  • Do you have children on the autism spectrum? Do you have children with ADHD?
  • Do you have to work really hard to succeed socially? More than most people? Are you emotionally tired after long days of socializing outside the home?
  • Do a lot of people disappoint you and take advantage of you?
  • Have people told you that your smile is “different” or “unnatural?”
  • Does your spouse seem to be controlling things all the time? Does your spouse try to control you? Do you worry that your spouse is manipulating you? Do you worry that you don’t quite understand all the ways your spouse is trying to take advantage of you?
  • Is your spouse constantly giving you advice about how to help with the children? Does your spouse spend a lot of energy teaching you about parenting? Does your spouse not seem to want to leave you alone with the kids?
    Does your spouse seem to be constantly asking you to do things that don’t make a lot of sense and are a waste of time?
  • Does your spouse nag you to take care of things around the house?
  • Do you have your spouse keep track of the details of your life — details like your calendar and tasks you need to remember to do for the family?
  • Do you suffer from anxiety or depression? Do you have ADHD?
  • Do you make a lot of self-improvement efforts? Does your spouse disappoint you by refusing to come to therapy with you or by not participating in therapy the way you want? Does your spouse refuse to improve?
  • Does your spouse never seem to think you do enough no matter how hard you work? Does your spouse seem impossible to please?
  • Does your spouse claim you aren’t interested in sex enough? Or, does your spouse complain that sex doesn’t feel quite right and that you want too much of it?
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    – Anne Janai, M.L.A.

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