By Kathy J. Marshack, Ph.D.
Living with a mate who has Asperger Syndrome is fraught with stress. You love them but, quite frankly, they are unpredictable. You never know how they’ll react to an ordinary situation. Whether your Aspie rants, or melts down into a rage or torrent of tears, or gives you a blank look and walks away, you often are left feeling rejected, confused and abused.
It’s not surprising that many neuro-typical spouses or partners report a variety of psychosomatic and immunodeficiency illnesses, such as migraines, arthritis, gastric reflux, and fibromyalgia. When the body is regularly thrown into a state of alarm, the overproduction of adrenalin and cortisol wreaks havoc with the body’s natural defense mechanisms. These alarm systems are designed for short-term emergencies, not for the daily crises.
A healthy family life when you have a partner with Asperger, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, requires caring for yourself first.