Connecting with Your Asperger Partner: Negotiating the Maze of Intimacy

Connecting with Your Asperger Partner: Negotiating the Maze of Intimacy

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By (author) Louise Weston, Foreword by Tony Attwood

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  • Publisher: JESSICA KINGSLEY PUBLISHERS
  • Format: Paperback | 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 147mm x 224mm x 3mm | 272g
  • Publication date: 15 September 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1849051305
  • ISBN 13: 9781849051309
  • Sales rank: 62,299

Product description

Communication and intimacy can feel like a constant struggle in relationships where one partner has Asperger Syndrome (AS). For the neuro-typical partner (NT) in particular, this can be an endless source of frustration, misunderstandings, and tears. Drawing on her own experience of being married to a man with AS, Louise Weston shows that the road to intimacy begins with letting go of expectations and looking after your own physical and emotional needs. She provides tried-and-tested strategies for relating to and connecting with your AS partner, as well as useful tips for coping with hurtful words and meltdowns, helping your partner to interpret emotions, and finding further sources of help and support. Above all, she shows that although your AS/NT relationship will challenge you beyond what you ever thought possible, by letting go of expectations and respecting each others' differences, this unique partnership really can be both happy and successful. Brimming with stories and advice from other NT partners, this practical book will help NTs take positive steps towards connecting with their AS partners. It will also be a useful resource for counsellors and other professionals who wish to deepen their understanding of AS/NT relationships.

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Author information

Louise Weston is a Registered Nurse from Queensland, Australia. She was the former co-ordinator of a monthly support group for NT partners and spouses of individuals with Asperger Syndrome. She has a Bachelor of Nursing degree and a Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training. Louise is happily married to her husband Graham. After they were married in 1999, Graham was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. His diagnosis was inspirational in writing this book.

Review quote

This book is such an important one in today's world as the population of Aspies is growing older and the increase in Aspie/Neurotypical couples is increasing as well... One of the biggest enjoyment in reading this book is that it is a true life story of someone who married an individual diagnosed with AS,,, The book offers an array of activities to assist the NT individual in the process of adjusting and living with a partner who is diagnosed with AS... The author's writing style is one that draws the reader into her personal journey while providing helpful hints along the way that are sending a clear message...I found her examples of "the NT/Aspie energy cup" a fantastic way to get a better look and appreciation of the differences between someone on the spectrum and an NT. Weather you or someone you know, NT or on the spectrum, when the time comes and there is an increase likelihood for the two to potentially establish a relationship, this book is a must! -- Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders The title of this book says it all. It is extremely apt for the content of the book and it does what it says on the tin! The style is easy to follow having lists, charts, bullet points and headings together with pages of text. It gives advice on living with an Asperger partner in very practical terms, right down to how to construct a conversation that is clear and will be understood. The book recognises the difficulties of relationships that have not yet identified or had a diagnosis of Aspergers but then gives many tips, a wealth or information and support to the neuro-typical partner. It also talks about the quirkiness and associated fun and joys of an asperger partner, which I can endorse... This is a great book to give information to other family members so they can understand and use some of the techniques described. It would also be very useful for counsellors for the same reasons. There are specific chapters of interest e.g. Letting go of Expectations, Surviving Blunt and Harsh Words. However the whole book taken in context is an exemplary picture of Aspergers Syndrome, its impact on ordinary life but also the vast improvements that can be made and the enjoyment that is possible in the relationship. -- accord What makes it potentially more useful to neuro-typical (NT) partners is its very positive and confident message, based on both the author's own experience in an Asperger marriage, and that of others whose contributions are included, that Asperger marriages can become both functional and fulfilling... It's an extremely practical book, with a straightforward though not simplistic approach, based on four Vital Keys: 1) Learn about AS, 2) Let go of expectations, 3) Maintain your energy cup and 4) Aim for a quick recovery time (from AS meltdowns), which are all explained and expanded on, and is strong on coping strategies for the NT partner, with useful chapters too on "does a diagnosis help?", on communication strategies, and on grieving the loss of the relationship that might have been... Lastly, it's reassuring for us that as well as the value of self help reading and support groups, the author also advocates engaging in counselling, both 1:1 and couple counselling, with an appropriately knowledgeable counsellor, and so as well as being a reliable recommendation for "NT partners", it will also be an informative read for couple counsellors. -- The Loop A number of clinicians and professionals are called upon to address the needs of couples where one partner has Asperger Syndrome. Louise Weston's book reveals itself to be an important tool in the process of understanding and accepting the issues these couples experience. With a wealth of examples and practical suggestions, she addresses elements essential to couple harmony, satisfaction, and quality of life for partners and families alike. Her positive approach is inspiring and adapted to the reality of these couples. A must read! -- Isabelle Henault, author of Asperger's Syndrome and Sexuality: From Adolescence through Adulthood. If you are in a relationship with a partner affected by Asperger syndrome (AS) and the love and devotion you both share together is strong and committed then you will find this book invaluable. Louise has used both her personal experiences and research to offer realistic and practicable advice on how the neurotypical (NT) partner can keep themselves energized, healthy, and psychologically strong, by finding alternative ways to feel emotionally supported. As Louise clearly explains if awareness and understanding of how AS will impact on the relationship can be achieved then both partners will benefit. A really useful, positive book that would benefit couples affected by AS, and also counsellors and professionals who come into contact with AS/NT couples. -- Maxine Aston, author of The Asperger Couple's Workbook and Aspergers in Love Louise Weston has written Connecting with Your Asperger Partner as a relationship manual to enable both partners to understand each other's expectations and perspective, and provide advice on how to connect successfully from conversation to intimacy. The style is clear and engaging, the strategies realistic and practical and the overall theme positive and optimistic. I know that couples will have many 'eureka' moments in terms of explanations of thoughts and experiences, and that many relationships will be repaired and enhanced by incorporating her advice. -- From the Foreword by Tony Attwood With her gentle warmth and never-ending optimism, Louise Weston guides you through the maze of intimacy and helps you develop the skills needed to connect with your Asperger partner. This book provides useful and rare insights into the Aspie mind, and enthusiastically encourages NTs to look after and find themselves again. -- anonymous NT, married to an Aspie for 30 years Couples in which one partner has Asperger's Syndrome while the other does not face unique challenges. There have been few resources available to help them as conventional approaches to couples therapy are not effective. Louise Weston has written a frank and practical guide for women who are determined to make these relationships work. The first person accounts which are generously interspersed provide validation of the difficulties inherent in bridging the gaps between partners. Ms. Weston understands the need for taking care of oneself while investing in improving the relationship. She offers recommendations and encouragement which will be appreciated by those engaged in this demanding process. -- Harriet F. Simons, Ph.D, LICSW; Adjunct Associate Professor at Smith College School for Social Work; Therapist in private practice in Boston, MA, specializing in Asperger's relationships An invaluable resource for partners of people with Asperger's Syndrome, Connecting With Your Asperger Partner is a thoughtful, hands-on, practical guide for the partner who's not sure what to do next. Weston offers sound advice in a loving, knowledgeable tone that will give any reader the confidence to repair relationships and grow together in a healthy way. -- ForeWord Reviews Summarizes useful emotional and behavioral strategies and includes further readings and resource suggestions for partners, family members, coworkers, and counselors of individuals with AS. -- Library Journal Connecting with your Asperger Partner: Negotiating the Maze of Intimacy uses the author's own experiences of being married to a man with AS to show that the road to intimacy begins with letting go of expectations and looking after one's personal needs first. Strategies for connecting with an AS partner come second - and are explored here in an excellent survey highly recommended. -- The Midwest Book Review

Table of contents

Acknowledgements. Foreword by Tony Attwood. About this Book. Helpful Hints. 1. Two Steps Forward, One Step Back. 2. "Letting Go of Expectations". 3. Maintaining Your "Energy Cup". 4. Does a Diagnosis Help? 5. Letting Go of Control. 6. Communication Strategies. 7. Helping Your Partner Interpret Emotions. 8. Surviving Blunt and Harsh Words. 9. Coping with Meltdowns. 10. Regaining Your Identity. 11. Beginning to Reconnect. 12. Connecting Intimately. 13. The Importance of a Support Group. 14. Entering Into the Aspie's World. 15. The Unique Partnership. Afterword. Bibliography. Index.