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Featured I need some help understanding this

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by Kyn, Jul 14, 2017 at 3:07 AM.

  1. Kyn

    Kyn Active Member

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    So, I joined AC several months ago in hopes of finding some insights that might benefit my relationship (which I have for sure). I am a mostly NT (I have some tendencies towards the spectrum, and some other quirks and oddities, but that's it), dating an aspie. We have been together for 6 years, and normally I am able to figure out why he does and says some of the things that he does that don't make sense to me. Our relationship is unconventional and most of my NT friends and family don't get it or approve, but we make it work. Right now, though, I am having a hard time understanding where he is coming from and I am hoping that you guys can help me out.

    The current situation is thus: we have been apart for a year now, due to him moving to the east coast (of the US) from California for a job opportunity. We were able to spend time together over Christmas, but that has been all. It has been unpleasant and difficult, but we have hung in there. I do not have the funds to move out there on my own, and was just denied disability (for physical limitations), which I was hoping would make the move possible. I am continuing to fight for that as well as exploring other avenues. We are both sick of the long distance relationship thing.

    Recently, he was invited to come to Los Angeles for a unique opportunity relating to his love of art. I was hopeful that perhaps I would get to see him, as he will only a couple hours away. However, much to my confusion, disappointment, and distress, he does not seem to want to see me at all even though I volunteered to drive to meet him. He tends to prefer to keep different aspects of his life separate, and so when he said that he was going to treat this as a business, not pleasure, trip and did not want to visit anyone, I figured was the reason. Now, though, I learn that his mom will be spending the whole 4 days that he will be here with him, and they have all sorts of plans.

    I really don't know how to take this. I don't know any other man in his 40s that would rather share a hotel room and weekend with his mom than his girlfriend. Especially when he hasn't seen me in over 6 months. I don't know what to think.

    I would draw the reasonable conclusion that he is ready to end the relationship, except that he has been especially affectionate over the phone lately. Not with silly, sappy words (he doesn't do that), but by talking about the future together, expressing that he wishes that I was there with him, and saying how he can't wait for me to move there, etc. The two things together are incompatible to me. He misses us being together, but now that there is an opportunity to see each other, he does not want to see me. It is just of no importance to him.

    How is that even possible? I feel like I am really missing something here. I don't want to be un-understanding or unsupportive, but I really just don't get it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017 at 3:13 AM
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  2. Momo

    Momo Active Larrikin

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    I think you need to confront him in this, and ask him, flat out with no complexities involved, as to why he didn't want to see you and if he actually wants the relationship to continue. It takes guts I know, but it may be the only way to understand his intentions, he maybe doesn't understand how this is affecting you and unless you tell him he probably won't.
     
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  3. Bella Pines

    Bella Pines Well-Known Member

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    Second vote for confront him.

    And not in a hostile manner, in a factual manner. 6 years down the line, you will know by now that we are literal. So if you drop hints like "oh, your mum is staying is she?", in the bizarre NT way that my husband does, in the hopes that he will volunteer or explain himself, he won't. He will probably reply "yes".

    So quite simply, ask "I understand that you like to keep work and pleasure separate, but why is your mum staying and not me?".

    To be honest, I see nothing wrong with this, I do it all the time. My brain is organised into distinct compartments and I dont like mixing them. I am always confused as to why the NTs around me (including my husband) are constantly choosing to take offense. I'm sorry to say, but it's rarely about you. :)

    And to say you are "of no importance" to him makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. If you were of no importance then he simply would not talk to you. I can't understand how you have drawn this conclusion, it makes no logical sense.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017 at 3:46 AM
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  4. Bella Pines

    Bella Pines Well-Known Member

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    Snap! I love that there are a lot of NTs on this forum. I've been married to an NT for 17 years and I find the complexity of the NT brain fascinating, and confusing. So you are also helping us to understand too, xx
     
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  5. JamesBon92007

    JamesBon92007 Well-Known Member

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    I'm an Aspie man and what you said makes no sense to me. If it was me I would be spending my time with you. We all seem to have quirks but not the same ones. I think you need to talk to him, and be very specific. It might make perfect sense in his mind.

    My girlfriend used to travel for business but then retired. While she was away I enjoyed my time alone. Now I enjoy my time with her. Sometimes I like to be alone. Maybe he's stuck in the "alone" mode and just needs to switch back to the "relationship" mode. That's sorta how my mind works anyway.
     
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  6. kestrel

    kestrel Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I like things/people separated. Maybe he doesn't want to deal with the intensity of being with his mom and you at the same time.
     
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  7. Sportster

    Sportster Aged to Perfection

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    Since I don't know the full picture, it's hard to make an informed comment. However, based on what you've shared, I get the impression that he's hiding you from his mother. If she's a narcissist like mine was, then you're the one thing in his life that she doesn't know about and has no control over. I have a lady-friend that my mother NEVER knew about. Had she, she would have done everything in the world to destroy our relationship.

    My assumption could be totally wrong, so it merits talking with him about it. Ask him pointblank if he's keeping you from his mother. If that's not the case, then maybe suspicion is in order and it's time to reconsider the nature of your relationship.
     
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  8. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member

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    I feel it is one of two things or both: He puts his Mommy as priority over you, because of loving her more or being controlled by her, or he just lacks empathy. He says and does things on his terms, without thinking about what is best for you in any particular situation.
     
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  9. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    A male aspie said to his mum: I am sorry mum, but I no longer love you. (She was relating this to me and so, just skimmed what he was saying). Oh, she says and why is that son? Because I am getting married and must now love my new wife. His mum goes on to explain about different types of love and at first, he had a hard time understanding that concept, but did eventually grasp it.

    So, basically, your boyfriend is separating mother and girlfriend time. His mother is with him and so, his girlfriend is not and thus, yes, you should send a clear cut message to say why this is not acceptable.
     
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  10. WereBear

    WereBear License to Weird V.I.P Member

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    I have found it is better to flat out ask than drive ourselves crazy speculating. And tell him your feelings are hurt by it, and that is why you are asking.

    Good luck!
     
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  11. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member

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    Wearbear, that would be fine as long as he does not run away, so things would have to be worded the right way. Several Aspies on this board have bolted away from a partner after perceived criticism, with no looking back. Sometimes their actions speak louder than their words.
     
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  12. WereBear

    WereBear License to Weird V.I.P Member

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    Good point: it should not be presented as criticism.

    It can be, "I am puzzled by you not wanting to see me because it is a business trip, yet are seeing your mother. Is she business?"

    This kind of "tell me more about your rules compartmentalization" will trigger the Aspie Explaining Gene, hopefully :)
     
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  13. Kyn

    Kyn Active Member

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    Thanks so much for all of your replies. I really appreciate it. Re-reading my post this morning, I realized that it was a bit more on the emotional side than I would usually express in public, and for that I apologize. Note to self: rambling on and on at 1 am when you are feeling very upset and emotional makes for an overly emotionally charged post.

    Anyhow-

    I wasn't at all trying to say that I felt that I was of no importance to him. I know that is not the case at all. I was just referring to the opportunity to see each other. For me, the prospect of being able to spend even a couple hours with him is something I would clear my entire calendar for even a chance at. For him, it is the exact opposite. That is the part that I need some help understanding. I am not an especially clingy individual and rather like my space and alone time as well, but after a year of separation, a bit of a visit doesn't seem like too much to ask.

    I did speak to him about it, and I thought that I was being clear on expressing how I felt and the importance that I put on being able to see each other. He, however, got angry and accused me of not allowing him to do things as he saw fit, and trying to insert myself into this opportunity and ruin it for him. I am not at all trying to get in the way of anything; on the contrary, I am outrageously excited for him that he has been offered this opportunity. To me, it is a "two birds with one stone (more accurately for this situation, two birds with one plane ticket)" sort of thing. Why would he not want that? To me it is very reasonable. To him, not so much. I don't understand that.

    No, I have spent quite a lot of time with his mom and step dad. We went to dinner just last week, and he and I spent the Christmas vacation at their house in Florida (they also have a house here in California, which is where they currently are). He regularly encourages me to spend time with his mom when she is here.

    These things all make sense to me. They are not the way I see things, but I can understand them through the glasses of aspie-ism.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017 at 2:50 PM
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  14. JamesBon92007

    JamesBon92007 Well-Known Member

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    There is certainly no need to apologize, at least not to me. If you can't say what you think and feel here then where can you? I think you are in the right place. I've only been here a little over a week and I think I'm in the right place.

    One thing though, being an Aspie I may or may not be able to completely comprehend all of your questions and concerns however I'm happy to try to understand the situation and tell you how I might react in a similar situation. It might not be all that much help to you but perhaps you'll get a glimpse into how he might be thinking. I didn't originally come to AC to offer my help, I came here to get help. But just about every day someone asks something that I have some experience with so I offer what has worked for me.

    In the unlikely case that you haven't heard this expression: If you met one Aspie, you've met one Aspie."

    We are all the same and yet we are all different.
     
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  15. GoldenWanderer

    GoldenWanderer Active Member

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    If you haven't already, I'd pay explicit attention to the words being said rather than the emotion behind the words.

    I personally don't respond to emotional signals, implications, or sarcasm, which means I take words quite literally. For example, when someone tells me to come over soon, in a few minutes, or a little bit, I panic because they didn't provide a definitive time. What if I come over before they're ready because I understand 'soon' differently than they do. What if I'm late because I tried to match what I thought they meant, but in reality I was completely wrong and it was earlier. This sends me into a spiral. I can't think of any relationship specific examples right now (due to the lack there-of and my horrible memory) but I remember struggling when I used to try to date because of these communication differences.
     
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  16. Brittany

    Brittany New Member

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    i'm not able to be of much help myself, but i am happy to see other NT's on here. :) thanks for posting!
     
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  17. Katleya

    Katleya Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I never like to give relationship advice too much, because I hate the idea that I might be interfering with something so personal.
    So I'll just throw in a couple of possible perspectives, based on my own personal experience (although I'm an Aspie female in her 30s), that maybe could prepare you for when you manage to talk with your boyfriend:

    - Maybe he sees a few hours together as different than being together, in a very compartmentalized kind of way. I know I would.
    - He could think it's not practical for you to drive several hours to see him just a little bit (especially if the time spent together ends up shorter than the total driving time. I know that's something I always computed in dates with my boyfriend, and if the time together was inferior, then we'd have had to reschedule, but I've never explicitly explained this to him).
    - He could be worried about the state of mind he will be in, i.e. preferring not to see you if he isn't emotionally available and possibly drained from the work function, because it might result in unnecessary conflict. I know I'd rather not to see my boyfriend if I'm anticipating that I might end up in the possible-meltdown-zone, because everything might be just fine... or it could very well be hell, and I don't want that for either one of us. Maybe this is a stressful trip for him? You mentioned arts, will the trip involve meeting with many people?
    - The conditions of the trip might make him feel that it's not an ideal setting, and that you're worthy of more than what he could offer during those few hours. How can I put it? Kind of like, if you can't do it something well, then it's best not to do it at all.

    As for me, while I love both my mother & boyfriend to death (in different ways, of course), if I were asked who I want with me on a "trip to the unknown" with possible ramifications to my future, I'd choose my mother in a heartbeat because no matter how messy things get, and how miserable/angry I might get (especially in case a meltdown or shutdown occurs), I don't feel the need to convince my mother I'm worth being loved. Being with my boyfriend, even for a few hours, in a situation like that? Additional stress, because I still don't want to show the weaker, uglier sides of me, even after over a decade together.

    But you're not dating me, so these possibilities may or may not explain the situation with your boyfriend, and only a non-threatening conversation, with clear questions, devoid of implicit meaning, can help.
     
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  18. AshleyDS

    AshleyDS Buzzkill

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    This could be so many things.

    He may have moved on emotionally, or still be really into you.

    His mom visiting him may be something he can't avoid (mother's can be unstoppable) or he may have welcomed it.

    You need to talk to him.
     
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  19. S-Head

    S-Head Active Member

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    I did speak to him about it, and I thought that I was being clear on expressing how I felt and the importance that I put on being able to see each other. He, however, got angry and accused me of not allowing him to do things as he saw fit, and trying to insert myself into this opportunity and ruin it for him. I am not at all trying to get in the way of anything; on the contrary, I am outrageously excited for him that he has been offered this opportunity. To me, it is a "two birds with one stone (more accurately for this situation, two birds with one plane ticket)" sort of thing. Why would he not want that? To me it is very reasonable. To him, not so much. I don't understand that.
    [/QUOTE]

    I hate to be negative, but... call it like it is: he lied to you.

    That's a big deal. Been there, have done it. If he doesn't own up to it now, he will need to own up to it when he does it next time. There WILL be a next time, until he owns up to the fact that this is lying to you. It took me a lot to own up to it.
     
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  20. JamesBon92007

    JamesBon92007 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, those are great explanations. I cannot articulate those kinds of things but they are ever-present.
     
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