My partner and I have always been hot on communication. Sometimes that involves shouting, sometimes that involves hugs, but most of the time, we’ve been talking about how to communicate.
There’s nothing wrong with my partner. They’re different, sure, but not wrong. For my partner has aspergers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a normal, loving, relationship. It’s just sometimes it’s harder to communicate with each other.
It was me who thought of the idea, however, to use notebooks. We both have one and they sit on the desk, with a reminder on top to check once a day. In order to write something, it’s important to think about the form. Not that anything we write in there is a sonnet, but you have to think about the way the words will form in order to create a sentence that will make sense. When we communicate verbally, sometimes words don’t get absorbed properly. Especially when you’ve got aspergers. You can say, “this thing you did was stupid” and it comes across as “you are stupid”.
I once heard of a couple we never argued in person. They sorted out their arguments, in the good ol’ days at least, over MSN! We don’t do that- we have the notebooks, but it’s a similar concept. It helps to release the facts and not just the anger/upset.
I’m not saying arguments won’t happen, but even in our daily conversations I try to think about the way I might write this to my partner, and that’s definitely helped us to think about the way we say things (and all together) not just the things we say.
Living with a person with aspergers can be very daunting at first. The most important thing to remember, however, is the ways in which when you say something, it can be magnified by 100 for that person. The meltdowns aren’t always aimed at a person, or themselves, it’s just an overload of emotions that come out with screaming and shouting, and sometimes they can seem aggressive, but it’s most important to remember that it’s not deliberate on that person’s behalf.
As much as anger and upset can be intensified, however, so can love! My partner does adorable things in our relationship that I never imagined anyone can think to do.
Everything in life is a mixture of checks and balances, and it’s important to remember to outweigh one if the other is getting too much. We’re working on it.
Sometimes I think I’d have liked to have met my partner slightly later in life. Sometimes I wish I’d had more life experience before embarking on settling down. But, overall, I’m happier that we met earlier- we get to start our life journey as a couple much before most of our friends, and it’s the head start we need to sort out our communication!