I was so buried in self pity and hopelessness for so long that I couldn’t see a single thing that my ASP did “right.” It took my friend pointing things out to me before I learned to recognize all the ways my ASP was trying and the ways he communicated his love for me. All I could see were all the things he wasn’t doing as I wanted and expected.
It’s by focusing on the good in my ASP that I learned to minimize the bad. The ways he messed up that made me so angry didn’t seem to matter as much. I took a step back and saw a bigger picture where he was trying so hard, rather than focusing day in and day out on every little time he communicated badly or otherwise disappointed me. I started to try to understand what he meant rather than getting all wrapped up and offended when he stuck his foot in his mouth. I learned he loved me and meant well but just lacked tact and the natural ability to say the “right” thing, especially in an emotional situation.
The more emotional the problem, the more he screwed up. This is why my illness brought out the worst in him. Not because he didn’t care but because he *did* care. Those emotions just twist him up and bring up his walls and make him say the most hurtful things. Or, even worse, he would avoid me, but this was out of fear of hurting me. All I knew was that he wasn’t there for me.
Now I know he was protecting me as best he could. So here’s how to use the Aspie Way to have a true partner in your time of need: let him know you understand his fear, let him know you appreciate his trying to protect you, let him know it’s okay if he isn’t perfect, and then let him know you need him now. Do not remind him of his failures. Try to let go of the expectation that he just “know” what to do. Tell him and say please. This approach has allowed my ASP to really be here for me when I need him now.