Saturday, August 28, 2010

Aspies, Affection and Connection

The Bible tells us that Jacob had two wives, but Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. I asked my aspie spouse what he thought the difference was in Jacob loving Rachel more than Leah.  There was nothing in his response about "connection" or anything about "feeling" more for her.  He perceives the difference was only in his actions.  He said the difference must be that he "showed more affection to Rachel in some way."

How do aspies understand and express affection and connection? 
1.  Like-mindedness and agreement is "connection".
2.  Being in the same space (same room, even if not talking) is expressing affection.  Wanting the person to be in the same space is connection.
3.  Physical touch can be his way of expressing affection and connection.
4.  Doing things for someone (ex., helping around the house) is expressing affection.

In the movie Adam, the AS man explains what it means when he says he loves the (NT) woman as wanting her with him and needing her to help him.  "I'd be lost without you" is an expression of how much value and love is felt by the aspie toward his spouse.  We need to understand that this is not a negative thing.  The Bible says that God made Eve to be Adam's helpmeet.  It was not good for Adam to be alone, and so he made a woman suitable for him.  Maybe for wives of aspies, we have a little deeper understanding of what it means to fulfill that helper role to our particular husbands. 

I hope Christian wives of aspies will be encouraged that you, with your particular strengths and gifts, were created as a suitable helper for your husband.  And even though he may not feel connection as emotionally as you do, that doesn't mean there is not true love there.  He probably deeply values you and loves you for the help that you are to him, even if he does not communicate it in the way you desire.

Future post will explore ways to help him learn to express this love in a way that communicates it better to an NT.