Monday, July 20, 2009

Disclosure of AS in Marriage: Pro/ Con

Dear Reader,

In what follows, feel free to replace AS by autistic, and feel free to replace NT by NS (non-Spectrum), as desired. Of course, there are many more reasons in either category. I would tell people that disclosure is better.

Ten Reasons Not To Disclose AS to Your NT Partner

10. You really are not sure yourself about it- you just think you might be AS.

9. Your partner does not believe in any "psychobabble", so you are not quite sure how to convey it in a credible fashion just yet.

8. You worry that your partner will reject you if you do disclose.

7. Your partner had a prior bad experience with another ASpie who used AS as an excuse to be rude and inconsiderate, and you don't know how to disclose without sounding like you are doing the very same thing.

6. You are not 'out", and your partner cannot keep a secret well. (Assume that you are self-dx, but not formal.) Being outed right now would cause you to face serious discrimination.

5. Your partner really listens to everything her best friend says. That friend has been complaining about his or her spouce's AS, and saying that people with AS are emotional parasites on the normal members of society.

4. Your partner is applying for health insurance to cover you both, and there is an ASD question on the form, and you do not want your partner to have to lie to avoid discrimination.

3. You have in-laws who are looking for a reason not to respect you, and you feel that your partner would tell them without your consent. Assume that their respect is important to your partner, and that they live nearby.

2. If your partner feels really down, if you do not disclose AS then it will not be automatically your fault- due to "CADD". You want the blame to be assigned fairly.

1. If you break up, AS cannot be used against you in a custody fight.

Ten Top Reasons to Disclose AS to Your NT Partner:

10. You feel the need to explain why you have been admiring the beautiful colors in the rainbow of an oil spot on the sidewalk, and why you played that same fantastically beautiful classical music CD about 100 times last week, in a way that makes sense to your beloved.

9. You feel like explaining why it is that you have every street in the city memorized, or how it is that you have all those prime numbers memorized, or why your beloved's voice is such a pretty color, or...

8. You never get your partner's jokes, and want to explain why.

7. You have a lot of sensory issues that you really need your partner to accommocate.

Your child reminds you of how you were as a child of that age, and you want to have your child tested for AS, but your partner is downplaying the whole idea, and would take it more seriously if you disclose. This is particularly relevant for school accommodations/ IEP. It is also important to share with a therapist or other medical or health-care professional who may be evaluating your child, and non-disclosure could prove difficult in that situation.

Your child has sensory issues and your partner will not believe them. You know your child is telling the truth from your past experience in being an AS child, so you want to advocate for your child more effectively.

4. You make a lot of social errors, and really need your partner to have a way to keep you out of that kind of trouble in certain situations. You trust your partner implicitly with this, and know that your partner is worth it to you- for you to try hard to get this right- and he or she is willing to help.

3. You have common experiences but interpret them very differently, and realize that it would really help your communication if you could just explain the differences.

2. You want to help your partner understand why you do not always read your beloved's feelings, but that you still really care. You want your partner to share in words what those feelings are more often, and tell you what would please him or her.

1. You love your partner greatly, and want to share everything with this person you care about so deeply.


  1. Reading this made me feel very fortunate to be in the position I am - with a spouse who has always accepted me unconditionally, despite my multitude of flaws and mistakes - even though I find it oh-so-difficult to reciprocate and catch myself not affording him the same benefits he allows me.

    I have no fear of homelessness, starvation etc. even though I know that any day life could throw a curveball and that could change... living in the "right now" I have food, clothing, shelter and even a few luxuries that I know many worldwide do not have.

    Thanks for stirring up some gratitude in this grouchy old Aspie woman.
    : )

  2. Thanks, Sister Sunshine-
    I am so glad for you. Thanks for making me feel good by posting this!