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When you’re in the midst of a discouraging situation, it can be hard to hang on to hope.
I’ve certainly heard from many partners in AS (Autism/Aspergers) marriages expressing frustration and disappointment.
You can inject hope into your marriage with the following specialized marriage tips.
I reviewed a number of AS and non-AS blogs and sources to bring you these tips.
a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
“he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information”
synonyms: aspiration, desire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim, goal, plan, design; More
a feeling of trust.
want something to happen or be the case.
“he’s hoping for an offer of compensation”
synonyms: expect, anticipate, look for, be hopeful of, pin one’s hopes on, want;
Here are 7 Marriage Tips To Revive Your Relationship
1. Read these 14 strategies and figure out the easiest one to put into practice
Read Eva Mendes’ article, Marriage With Aspergers: 14 Practical Strategies
Here’s a summary –
- Pursuing a diagnosis;
- Accepting the diagnosis;
- Staying motivated;
- Understanding how AS impacts the person;
- Managing depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder;
- Self-exploration and self-awareness;
- Creating a Relationship Schedule;
- Meeting each other’s sexual needs;
- Bridging parallel play;
- Coping with sensory overload and meltdowns;
- Expanding Theory of Mind;
- Improving communication;
- Co-parenting strategies;
- Managing expectations and suspending judgment.
Action Step: Pick just one of the strategies and learn more about it by reading her article.
Picking just one strategy cuts through the overwhelm and discouragement and gives you one thing to work on.
Like the strategies?
Get her book, Marriage and Lasting Relationships with Aspergers Syndrome.
2. Use these principles taken from the Center From NonViolent Communication to help with conflict resolution.
Review and reflect on them daily.
(1) Spend some time each day quietly reflecting on how we would like to relate to ourselves and others.
(2) Remember that all human beings have the same needs.
(3) Check our intention to see if we are as interested in others getting their needs met as our own.
(4) When asking someone to do something, check first to see if we are making a request or a demand.
(5) Instead of saying what we DON’T want someone to do, say what we DO want the person to do.
(6) Instead of saying what we want someone to BE, say what action we’d like the person to take that we hope will help the person be that way.
(7) Before agreeing or disagreeing with anyone’s opinions, try to tune in to what the person is feeling and needing.
(8) Instead of saying “No,” say what need of ours prevents us from saying “Yes.”
(9) If we are feeling upset, think about what need of ours is not being met, and what we could do to meet it, instead of thinking about what’s wrong with others or ourselves.
(10) Instead of praising someone who did something we like, express our gratitude by telling the person what need of ours that action met.
3. Learn the NVC communication model as an easy to understand model for being specific in your communication
Start out by listening to my interview with Bob Yamtich, in episode 2 of the Thrive with Aspergers Podcast, titled To Men and Women Who Want Better Communication. Bob has trained in the non-violent communication model. As an Aspergers person, he said that the NVC communication model is very easy to understand and apply.
Shadow Work describes both the NVC and his own “Clean Talk” method. Both are easy ways to understand and apply a way to talk to each other about your feelings, wants, and needs.
Listen to Episode 2, and check out the show notes for resources.
Go to Shadow Work and read up on the details of his model and how to communicate effectively using his easy steps.
4. Figure out your needs, and talk about them together.
First, go to the article, Try This Breakthrough Strategy For Your Marriage Now:
In that article, I’ve listed a table of common needs for a) both Aspergers and non-Aspergers people b) common non-Aspergers needs and c) common Aspergers needs.
Second, pick out your top 3 needs from that table.
Third, talk with your partner during a time when you’re both relaxed, and figure out how you can help meet each others’ needs.
For example, my wife needs help with the chores. Acts of service are one of her love languages.
I, however, thrive on verbal encouragement and touch.
We didn’t figure out these needs until a couple of months (or was it years) into our marriage.
Once we did figure them out, we needed to talk together about how I could help out more diligently with chores around the house, and how she could thank me and give me my hugs 🙂
5. Come up with a system of labor that helps you share the household responsibilities.
One partner in a successful AS marriage wrote,
“One of the things that’s worked very well for us, is a division of labor. We each stick with what we do best, and we don’t meddle in the activities of the other. I make dinner, and she cleans up. I do repairs and upkeep on the house, and she handles the bills. Every now and then we intersect, but that generally doesn’t go well. It’s challenging. At best, we’re as supportive towards each other as we can be.”
source – Wrong Planet
Action Step: Go to my article, “Keep Your Marriage Strong with These Organization Tips” and follow the steps to design an easy to follow system for you and your spouse.
6. Learn To Be Interested
Marriage is hard work. But anything as priceless as lifelong love is worth the effort!
Non-Aspergers partner: are you interested in your Aspergers partner’s specialized interests? If not, ask questions and learn about those interests.
Aspergers partner: are you interested in your non-AS partner’s “non-specialized” interests? Learn to ask questions!
Here’s a resource to get you started!
The Couples Ungame is a deck of cards with questions meant to uncover each other’s thoughts, feelings, needs, and beliefs. Take time together to ask each other questions. Then listen to the answers!
7. Pick one of these resources: just one idea could change your marriage.
I’m always listening, always reading, always learning. Because all it takes is one good idea to create great results.
Here are some resources for you to choose from.
Listen to my interview with Eva Mendes: 3 More Marriage Advice Tips To Help Your Relationship
Read Cynthia Kim’s series of articles, Lessons from an Aspergers-NT Marriage.
Listen to my interview with David Finch, Aspergian author of the book, Journal of Best Practices, It’s Here! Quick Relationship Help You Can Use.
Read my article, based on a book written by an Aspergers man about “neurotypicals”: 4 Valuable Ways to Better Understand Your Neurotypical Partner.
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photo credit: Kristina Litvjak
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