Relationship Skills for Couples Affected by Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

Frequently Asked Questions

Can other therapists use the information in this program to counsel their couples who are affected by Aspergers?

Every counselor who works with Aspergers couples will benefit from the strategies presented in this material. Many therapists who were not well-versed in the special needs of these individuals are now better equipped to help their clients avoid conflict and resultant separation or divorce.


Who is this program for exactly ...the man or the woman ...the one WITH Aspergers or the one without?

Both. The information will apply in all of the following cases:
  • partners live together but are not married
  • partners are married
  • only the male partner has Aspergers
  • only the female partner has Aspergers
  • both partners have Aspergers

Ideally, both the "Aspie" and the partner without Aspergers will participate.


Does the one with Aspergers have to participate in order for the techniques to be effective?

No. Ideally both people will read and implement the strategies …this will provide the greatest possibility of a positive outcome. However, many have reported good success with the program even though the Aspergers partner did not see a problem with the relationship and had no interest in working on it.


I’m not considering divorce or anything like that. I just want to help my husband – and myself. Can this program work for me?

Absolutely. You’re in a much better position than most. Research states that 80% of people affected by Aspergers who get married also get divorced (and many never get married at all). This is due mainly to the lack of information out there regarding what adjustments need to be made in a unique relationship like this. A partner with any disorder – Aspergers or otherwise – will need special consideration. So, you’re willingness to hang-in there is both impressive and admirable. Better to trouble-shoot while the ‘relationship problems’ are small rather than wait for years of resentment to build-up.


If I use your methods, how long will it take to see a positive change in my relationship?

You should notice positive changes in your partner and in yourself the very first day you use the strategies outlined in ‘Living with an Aspergers Partner’. As you begin to implement the techniques outlined in the program, you will see even more significant, long-lasting and positive changes in your relationship. Dealing with Aspergers traits will become easier and much less confusing.


Does it matter how old we are or how long we’ve been together?

Not really. Age or ‘duration of relationship’ is not nearly as important as (a) under- standing how Aspergers affects adults and relationships, (b) learning how to deal with the Aspergers partner’s weaknesses, and (c) how to capitalize on his/her strengths.


I'm not sure my husband has Aspergers. He has a lot of the traits, but no formal diagnosis. Would this eBook apply to me and my situation?

If he has a lot of the traits, then 'yes' - it applies. Diagnosis or not, you are living with the special (and often times frustrating) set of characteristics associated with Aspergers.


How do you get an “official diagnosis” of Aspergers?

In addition to those with an MD or PhD, any professional with the credentials and expertise to diagnose any other condition may also make a diagnosis of Aspergers. Such professionals may be social workers (MSW), master’s level psychologists (MA), or other mental health professionals.

Many individuals pursue neuropsychological testing with a neuropsychologist (PhD) or a psychiatrist (MD). As a result of this testing, it may be determined that the individual has Aspergers, something related to Aspergers, or something different. This will give a fairly full picture of strengths and challenges and of how one’s brain processes information.

Neuropsychological testing is not required to get an “official diagnosis”. To apply for Social Security, one must receive the diagnosis from an MD or a PhD.


Is it ever too late to discover Aspergers or seek a diagnosis?

It is never too late for an individual to increase self-awareness in order to capitalize on strengths and work around areas of challenge. Knowing about Aspergers gives The individual an explanation, not an excuse, for why his or her life has taken the twists and turns that it has. What one does with this information at the age of 20, 50 or 70 may differ, but it is still very important information to have.


If I think my husband has Aspergers, should I tell him?

Yes.  My bias is that it is better to know than not to know. If you have Aspergers and don’t know, it affects you anyway; if you do know, you may be able to minimize the negative impact and leverage the positive. Without the knowledge that one has Aspergers, one often fills that void with other, more damaging explanations such as failure, weird, disappointment, not living up to one’s potential, etc.


How do I tell my partner that he may have Aspergers?

Lead with strengths!  Most people with Aspergers have significant areas of strength, even if this has not been translatable into tangible success. Bring up areas of strength with the person with suspected Aspergers.

Next, tactfully point out the areas in which they are struggling.

Then, suggest to them that there is a name for that confusing combination of strengths and challenges, and it may be Aspergers. You may lead them to www.MyAspergersChild.com or other resources for further information. Provide support along the way.


I'm currently not in a relationship.  Does your information help those with Aspergers develop social skills that will help in the future should they decide to date?

Definitely. The individual with Aspergers (AS) will learn (among other things):
  • what his/her natural strengths and weaknesses are 
  • how to capitalize on strengths and minimize weaknesses
  • how to date
  • how to be a life-long partner 
  • how to avoid pitfalls along the way

When Aspies get a few specific relationship tools in their toolbox, they are often just as successful with the opposite sex as NTs or "neurotypicals" (i.e., people without AS).


Do you have a question?  Feel free to email Mark Hutten, M.A. at mbhutten@gmail.com

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