How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have lived with a man with Aspergers for several years. In

This answer was rated:

I have lived with a man with Aspergers for several years. In many ways he is a good partner, trying to please me by making things for me, fixing things around the house, etc. and most things of that nature I ever request he will do, I feel because he cares about me and our relationship. I have a full life and many friends and am mostly ok with the level of companionship I get at home. However sometimes I just need for him to come out of his room and sit around with me, go somewhere with me, etc. On those occasions I have a very hard time communicating this to him without putting him in a "defensive" mode where he will stay in his room longer just because I asked that he come out, for example. What is the best way for me to communicate with him on these occasions? I have learned not to get "too emotional" and usually am able to tell my wishes in a calm manner. Still I need to understand better how to approach this.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your questions.

It can be very difficult for someone with Aspergers to understand the need for closeness and companionship. They do not see the point in just sitting together or sharing an experience. The emotional satisfaction that most people get from being with others is not there for someone with Aspergers.

There are steps you can take to help improve the communication between you and encourage your partner to spend time with you.

One, learn all you can about Aspergers. Read books, talk to others on line or in person and use support groups to help you connect to others who either have Aspergers, or know someone that does. Here are some resources to help:

The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome by Tony Attwood

Can I Tell You About Asperger Syndrome?: A Guide for Friends and Family by Jude Welton

The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband... by David Finch

Two, you can try making an activity that he can do as the point to your being together. So for example, if you sit together, try to be doing something that you both enjoy. If your partner is willing to do things for you, giving him something to do while he is sitting there might help him see a point to the companionship.

Three, try explaining why you want him to come out of his room. If you tell him it is something that helps you or makes you feel happy, he may be able to relate to that better.

Here are some other ideas that you can use to communicate with your partner and make it easier for you to get what you need from him:

I hope this has helped you,
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
I hope my answer was helpful to you. If you have anymore questions, please let me know.


May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
Thank you very much for the positive rating and bonus. I appreciate it!

My best to you and your partner,