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Married to Asperger’s Syndrome

7/22/2009 12:58:37 PM

Tags: Asberger’s Syndrome, psychology, relationships, love, Richard Howlin, Psychotherapy Networker


Married men with Asperger’s Syndrome, a socially alienating form of autism, often make extremely loyal and hardworking spouses, writes Richard Howlin for Psychotherapy Networker. “Their single-minded focus appears to filter out the distracting social world and they often show immense dedication to their families,” he adds.

But in some cases, Howlin, a clinical developmental psychologist, has found women want their husbands with Asperger's to become more relational, which leads to confusion and avoidance when interpersonal conflicts arise. He writes about one of his clients:

I've always been taken by the idea that there are conventional and unconventional ways of expressing love in any given situation. As relational beings, we have to be clear about what kind of expression we need or desire. Like most high-functioning men with AS, Mark understood the core of love to be loyalty, dependability, and hard work. Cathy will need to come to terms with the possibility that this may not be enough for her. The decision about whether Mark ultimately offers her the kind of affection and growth she's looking for in a relationship can only be made by her.

Source: Psychotherapy Networker 

Image by Joe in DC, licensed under Creative Commons.

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