Can Abuse be Attributed to an Autistic Spouse?

October was Domestic Violence Awareness month. (And as much as I wanted to post this blog in the appropriate month, I couldn’t quite make it happen.) During October, survivors, advocates and allies come together in hopes of raising awareness, mourning the tragedy of lives lost, and discussing the trauma and experience of intimate partner violence.Continue reading “Can Abuse be Attributed to an Autistic Spouse?”

The Barren Desert of Emotional Reciprocity

Of all the various categories that require reciprocity in marriage, emotional reciprocity is at the heart of intimacy for a neurotypical wife. She is inherently drawn toward connection, and she desires the mutuality of synchrony with her husband. Since warm, loving, intimate relationships are a necessity for her neurology,  the presence of chronic impassivity fromContinue reading “The Barren Desert of Emotional Reciprocity”

The Deprivation of Sense-Making for Cassandra

As human beings, we have a desire to understand our experiences, our relationships, our world and ourselves. When events occur that are surprising, unusual, or substantially outside of our expectations, we are driven to consider what factors influence the occurrence. We often don’t realize that sense-making is automated until we are confronted with a disruption.Continue reading “The Deprivation of Sense-Making for Cassandra”

The Extended Family System of a Neurodiverse Marriage

Partners in a neurodiverse marriage often have families of origin with various complexities, many of which may impact the marital life in significant ways. For neurotypical wives, the most difficult aspect is the lack of support from extended family members. When families of origin aren’t burdened by pervasive mental health disorders, addictions, generational trauma, neurodiversityContinue reading “The Extended Family System of a Neurodiverse Marriage”

Is it an autistic shut down, or an ASD shut out?

What are the differences between an autistic shutdown, autistic burnout and a common (but less defined, and rarely discussed) dynamic in neurodiverse marriage – the autistic shut out? What is an autistic shutdown? An autistic shutdown in is a short-term reaction to overwhelm. Perhaps the autistic individual has masked for an extended period of time,Continue reading “Is it an autistic shut down, or an ASD shut out?”

The secrets that Cassandra keeps

The concept behind the name of Cassandra Syndrome is that a NT wife is sharing her reality with others, and being doubted. But what do her disclosures about the neurodiverse marriage really look like? To what degree is a neurotypical wife able to fully reveal the extent of her marital dynamic to others? A neurotypicalContinue reading “The secrets that Cassandra keeps”

Secrets & Lies with ASD in neurodiverse marriages

One oddly pervasive misconception about autism is that individuals with ASD are unable to lie. It appears that the lack of tactfulness commonly associated with ASD has been frequently confused for an inability to be deceitful. Being “blunt” when his wife asks how she looks in a dress is certainly not the same thing asContinue reading “Secrets & Lies with ASD in neurodiverse marriages”

The tyranny of ASD rules in a neurodiverse marriage

ASD individuals are often very uncomfortable with change, and have a strong need for predictability. Black and white thinking that is common with autism also lends itself to narrow ideas about the way in which life should happen. In a marriage, rigid inflexibility can begin to feel like a dictatorship for the neurotypical wife whenContinue reading “The tyranny of ASD rules in a neurodiverse marriage”

The role of fear in the neurodiverse relationship

When the neurotypical wife marries her autistic husband after a dating period that was likely spent basking (unknowingly) in the role of his special interest, the attention of those early months or years is deeply imprinted upon her heart and mind. She is built for tenderness, connection and reciprocity. Having received such devotion for anContinue reading “The role of fear in the neurodiverse relationship”

The harm of minimizing neglect in a neurodiverse marriage

In our society, the concept of physical abuse is perceived as more egregious than other forms of abuse, and certainly more heinous than the idea of neglect. If a woman has been physically harmed, it is more universally accepted as intolerable behavior from an intimate partner. Outsiders to the marriage have an easier time imaginingContinue reading “The harm of minimizing neglect in a neurodiverse marriage”