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Kathy Marshack News

What Is It Like Living with Someone Who Has Asperger’s Syndrome?

Wednesday, January 04, 2017


When asked, “What is it like living with someone who has Asperger’s Syndrome?” your answer will likely not be believed because it’s so far from normal.
In many ways, living with a spouse or partner who has Asperger’s Syndrome is like always being the only parent even when dealing with an adult on the Autism Spectrum.



  • You cover for their social blunders.
  • You walk on eggshells because you never know when an uncontrolled temper tantrum will erupt.
  • You constantly hear, “That’s not right” because they don’t ever see things from another’s perspective.
  • You don’t receive the natural and genuine warmth and closeness that others experience – no pillow talk or romance.
  • You’re only acknowledged when you’re needed to fulfill their agenda.
  • You live with unresolved and unfinished business all the time.

It’s so depressing and infuriating. It crushes your spirit.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “It can’t be as bad as that!” You have no idea! It really is that bad and worse. Because the NT (Neurotypical) person is all alone. No one sees what you deal with daily. To the outside world, the Aspie seems like a good guy (or gal). And you end up looking like the bad-tempered, overbearing person.

It’s a huge problem for NTs to find ways to explain our lives with high-functioning ASD family members. Many of us feel misunderstood at the best and shunned at the worst. The reactions we get from others cause us to pull away and live quietly with our despair. Of course this is understandable but the last thing you should do.

I wrote my two books to help get out the word about what we live with. "Going Over the Edge" and "Out of Mind - Out of Sight" have brought interesting feedback regarding this problem of understanding. From NTs around the world I have been told that my books are like “oxygen in a life without air.” From some with ASD I am told that they have a window into the world of their NT loved ones. But from many with ASD the feedback is hostile. I can count on one hand the feedback I receive from NTs who do not live with ASD.

It might be true that the only understanding we may get is from others who live this life. That's a start. But it's still pretty isolating isn't it? What we need to do is stop hiding in plain sight. We need to talk about what we live with and never be stopped by a lack of understanding. We need to trust our instincts and press ahead with what we know is the truth even if others are hostile.

If you’re a member of the Asperger Syndrome: Partners and Family of Adults with ASD group, please join our free international teleconference on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 2:30 PM on the topic of: Why are we so misunderstood? We’ll be discussing practical things you can do about it. (If you’re a NT with an AS family member, please feel free to join our Meetup group. There’s no charge.)

If you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA and you need some 1-on-1 with me to discuss your situation privately, please feel free to contact my office and we’ll schedule an appointment to discuss your options for creating a more secure and fulfilling life.




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