But both partners will have to use different strategies to compensate for the neurotypical versus autism spectrum traits that will come up.
Dr. Cindy Ariel, in her book, Loving Someone With Aspergers, says the following to the neurotypical spouse:
The more you can translate your relationship into predictable patterns or explicit rules, the more your partner may be able to be a positive participant.
Here are some organization tips you can implement today to help your relationship system run more smoothly.
Dr. Ariel shares these tips in her chapter, Embracing Differences.
It’s important to work together when discussing which organizational system will work best. Study the tips below and choose the ones that work best for your relationship. Additionally, remember that many people on the spectrum are visual learners; so some of the most useful information comes in the form of visual aids, such as pictures, lists, and charts.
Checklists can increase productivity each day.
You can have a list of chores, a shopping list, a list of errands, etc.
Calendars and planners will help you coordinate your personal and relationship activities.
Remind each other to check your shared calendar and add those dates both in your personal calendars and on the calendar. Meet once a week to update the calendar. A 5-10 minute meeting may be all you need.
Establish a schedule together.
Outline when important tasks will be done, and who will do them. For example, you can agree to put aside an hour per week for paying bills, or a morning per week for cleaning.
Organize items needed to complete a given task; for example, use a drawer to contain the checkbook, pen, calculator, and receipts. Or store a bucket filled with cleaning supp;ies in the bathroom closet.
Chore charts are a common visual aid used by couples for household organization and management.
Instead of a household chore chart, you can use a checklist of daily or weekly tasks.
Below is a sample chore chart. Each partner initials the appropriate box when she or he completes that particular chore. It may help to preplan who does what and when. You can even do chores together. Just make sure each of you complete your fair share of tasks for the day.
|Take dishes to sink/help clear table|
|Wash dishes or filldishwasher|
|Check kitchen trash;take out it full.|
|Twice Weekly Chores|
|Mop Kitchen Floor|
|Clean Litter Box|
|Wash and dry clothes;fold and put away.|
|Take trash out everyTuesday|
|Shop for food.|
|Vacuum living room|
Dr. Ariel suggests that several charts may work better than one big, confusing one. For example, you can have one chart just for yard work, one for household chores, and one for household projects.
Decide with your partner how often certain chores should get done, such as washing the car, cleaning the refrigerator, or changing sheets.
You’ll need to practice negotiation and compromise, since each of you may feel differently about how often chores need to be done. This is another opportunity to grow your relationship.
If you have some difficulty navigating compromise, don’t hesitate to bring in a third party, such as a neutral friend, or a professional counselor to negotiate tasks and come up with a plan.
Work together to decide how much or how little detail you need to get a job done.
It may be helpful to break larger tasks down into smaller parts so that you can decide how what each of your expectations are. For example, one partner may feel that a quick swish with a toilet brush and a flush means a clean toilet. The other partner may want things done much more thoroughly. If one person feels most strongly about doing a thorough job on a particular task, then that person should probably take that task on.
Reward yourselves for getting your chores done.
Take at least one half to one hour to do something fun, such as talking on the phone, reading a chapter of a book, or taking a bath.
What do you think of these organization tips? Will they keep your marriage strong? What other organization tips can you share with our readers?
Image credit: stockshoppe / 123RF Stock Photo