Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Don't Lose Hope

The most discouraging (okay, devastating) thing when an NT woman first begins to understand Asperger's is that she begins to lose all hope.  Any hope she had for change in her partner disappears and so she loses all hope for positive change in the relationship. 

Biblical counsel says "Love always hopes.  You can't lose hope!"  But what the suffering spouse must understand and the counselor must point out in order to truly help their counselee, is that with autism in the mix, the spouse must change what she hopes for.  She cannot hope he will be a Neuro-typical ("normal") person.  She cannot hope her relationship will ever look like she always believed it would/should/could.  But there is most certainly hope, and this includes hope for better communication between them.

She absolutely can, with a lot of dedication and work, learn the language of Asperger's.  It won't ever be instinctual to her, because she is wired with a different first language.  But as she begins to learn and conversationally use this new language (which uses English words but applies totally different meanings to many of those words), she will be able to communicate with her aspie spouse in a way she never has before.  Finally speaking his native language, she can then (and likely only then) be able to help him learn hers (and thus he will come to learn more about her). 

There really, truly is hope for an NT/AS relationship.  And this hope includes being able to better communicate with one another.

"Love always hopes."  1 Corinthians 13