Parents of children with Asperger’s syndrome often look into the future and wonder if their child will ever be able to marry. According to Tony Atwood, author of The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, the answer is yes. He states that a man or woman with Asperger’s syndrome can develop personal relationships and become a life-long partner.
Marriage Partners and Asperger’s Syndrome
A person with Asperger’s syndrome will normally marry someone who does not have the condition. In spite of their difficulties with social skills and expressing emotion, an Asperger’s syndrome partner can be a good marriage partner. This is especially true if he or she is aware of their diagnosis and have worked on it with therapists. Their natural strengths serve to enhance the marriage and in some cases, this is enough to carry the relationship through difficult patches.
Potential Problems in Asperger’s Syndrome Marriages
Courtship and the early days of marriage often go well and males with Asperger’s syndrome often come across as the strong silent type. Problems may arise as time passes and weaknesses come to the surface. These include emotional immaturity, the inability to socialize and the inability or reluctance to show affection. The non-Asperger’s syndrome partner ends up feeling lonely, neglected and affection-deprived. This is often hard for the Asperger’s syndrome partner to grasp as he or she will express love more practically than physically.
An Asperger’s syndrome person is often attracted to a marriage partner who is the organized or mothering type. He or she recognizes that they need someone to watch out for them and keep them focused in the right direction. This can also lead to problems between couples.
Women in particular may attract predators and as their social skills are weak, they do not realize that the man is not good for them. They may marry and be subjected to a life of misery with an abusive man.
Strengths that Asperger’s Syndrome People Bring to Marriage
People with Asperger’s syndrome have many positive traits. They have strong moral values and will be faithful to a marriage partner. They are also honest, reliable, determined and kind. While their marriage may lack in hugs and affectionate words, the Asperger’s syndrome partner is in it for the long haul. This combined with marriage therapy is often the saving grace of the relationship.
People with Asperger’s syndrome do marry and many of their marriages are long-lasting. While they have weaknesses, they also bring strengths to a relationship and with understanding and counseling, they often live long happy lives alongside their non- Asperger’s syndrome partner.
The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, Tony Attwood, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008