Friday, May 15, 2009

Aspies and Relationships

So far the best book I've read to help me relate to and understand adult aspies is "Asperger Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships" by Ashley Stanford. I needed to see the practical examples she offers for some of the medical lingo to make sense.

The most difficult thing I have encountered in relationships with aspies is stated by both Attwood and Stanford:
"Aspies are less able to learn from their mistakes."
Liane Willey described it by saying "Trials and tribulations will not become lessons learned, they will simply be memories that stand on their own with little relationship to anything other than the day they occurred."

This characteristic of "Weak Central Coherence" explains why the same argument comes up over and over and over again. The aspie doesn't apply the answer to a particular problem that has been dealt with in the past to a similar but slightly different scenario. It's like a whole new scenario being experienced without being able to apply the solution learned in the past. Stanford acknowledges that this was a serious struggle in her life until she tried to see a bright side to it. She now tries to view each (same old) argument as a fresh opportunity to try to find a way of communicating that works best with her aspie spouse, and to find a solution that makes the most sense to both parties.