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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Dear Elliott: First, best wishes for the new year for you

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Dear Elliott:
First, best wishes for the new year for you and all your family. January 1st and I am beginning a journal again after a lapse of steady writing for last year or two. Especially as I sort through and process this relationship with Scott, I know that the writing will be important. Wanted you to know of two books I'm reading: Connecting with Your Asperger Partner by Louise Weston. And Love, Sex & Long-term Relationships by Sarah Hendricks. What is your feeling about these two titles?

As always, life with as Aspie a roller coaster. And as I read, I realize how wide the spectrum is for this condition. At a poetry reading last Thursday, sat with a young man who told me he was "unique" == not easy to talk to, but that he felt welcomed at the readings: he told me he had Aspergers. Small world.....

I can't remember when I last wrote...the world has been spinning as I navigated the major move from my apartment of 10 years to this current apartment (highrise and subsidized...considerably smaller). Had to ask for a lot of help in order to survive the complexities of it all (and of course frustrating as Scott unable to anticipate any kind of need or stress; he was able to do a few _specific_ tasks when I asked). Think I'm totally "in" now though have to learn how to be in a building/community of 55+ ... with a range of rules (none unmanageable...). Probably another week of cleaning up, cleaning out, getting paperwork under control ... then can finally return to my schedule of exercise and work at the studio.

Did I tell you the miracle about the studio? I am on l/2 my income of former years now...and having an art studio seemed impossible. Finally wrote my first husband (we were divorced in '71) and he is now paying the monthly bill...he is president of major university in California. How incredibly blessed I am by this...

Then of course -- the reality of still being in this relationship with Scott. I have grown to love the man -- for the basic goodness that is in him, for his general consistency in caring about me (oh...he still has never said I like you/I love you), for the comfort of the history we have grown to value... Yes, several times I have thought about leaving...we have had major disconnects with lots of tears from me, and the usual "flatlining" from him (i.e., no talking, no visual contact, no body movement). He did go to share time with my family at Thanksgiving, and at Christmas. Seems he functions on a high level in social situations ... as long as there are no in-depth demands made of him.

But in mid-December, after a "flatline" evening, I got up the next morning and asked if he would "ever" be able to love me. He said no...so I returned his housekey, and he, mine. I took all clothes, toothbrush etc. from his apt. and went home for a terrible day of pain and stress...did have friends who were able to be with me. But that night I did call (in a much calmer place) and asked if he would be willing to just have one more conversation. He said yes -- at which time he said: I really "might" be able to love you. I do want you in my life; you are part of the fabric of my every day.

So, here we are now. I gave him a copy of Hendricks' book which he _said_ he would read. I told him I was continuing to try to learn more about Aspergers, talking to doctors and (now) looking for a support group. For a few weeks...a warmer climate
but lately, seems we are back to ground zero. I don't know if he has begun the book. A new question: how would you recommend I address the reading of the book again?

I do not want to make any rash decisions about ending this connection. I did for so many months say I "would leave" after this, after that. But after this real complete break (and now regrouping), I am looking at our relationship for where it is now, and trying to let each day come as it does. I have no "scheduled" departure...only the acceptance that if after a period of time, there is no area of compromise or growth, I will have to look at the picture again.

I am trying to find places where I can more truly be myself, be Carolyn. Emotive, communicative, creative, sensual, strong -- yet fragile. Another question: do you know of other non-aspies who are able to find the balance through going outside the relationship (and I don't mean sexually...).

I am most aware of the two areas of loss for me: making love (vs. the mechanical sex and total focus on his needs); and the power of language that is emotive, analytical, process-oriented. Having this connection with you incredibly valued ... wish I could HIGHLIGHT questions -- should I just put them in caps for emphasis?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Carolyn
Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear XXXXXyn,

I am so happy to hear from you in the new year and wish you a good one ahead.

Everyone has to make their own decision when it comes to their expectations in an Asperger relationship. In Louise Weston's book she talks about constant frustrations due to misundersandings in communication, and endless emotionality, drawn from her marriage to an Aspie. She recommends having no expectations in intimate relationships, but rather, to your own needs, both emotional and physical. She gives many enriching anecdotes and guides the reader how to find ways of connecting with their AS partner.

In this vein I also recommend two more books:

The Other Half of Asperger Syndrome: A guide to an Intimate Relationship with a Partner who has Asperger Syndrome
by Maxine C. Aston

Alone Together: Making an Asperger Marriage Work
by Katrin Bentley

The Sarah Hendricks book (Love, Sex.....) will help you to understand Scott's needs.

The best advice is to take one day at a time and continue if you can. It does not have to be all or none, and you can change the rules and parameters of the relationship to meet your needs. It would probably be the best course of action, in fact.

I wish you success in the coming year. May you get back on your schedule and re-establish that vital feeling of normalcy. I wish you a wonderful year ahead.

Warmest regards,

Elliott

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