25 Tips for Spouses of Allistics

If you are about to embark on a marriage to someone who has high-functioning allism, there are a few things you may need to know.  Some of them are good, and some of them are terrible and will make you rethink every life choice that led you to the day of your fateful wedding.

(Just kidding, Al.  This is what we call a “joke.”  I love you!)

  1.  Although allistic people (i.e. people with allism) do feel affection towards others, relationships are not a priority for them in the same way that it is for neuronormals or NNs (i.e., individuals without allism).  For instance, your allistic spouse will never pay the same attention to details that you will.  He or she may never remember exactly when your birthdate is, or which colors you like.  They will certainly never notice that you smell differently when you are ill, angry, or frustrated.
  2. A relationship with an allistic partner may take on more of the characteristics of a business partnership or arrangement, such as the relationship between a professional cat-herder and a herd of particularly excited cats.
  3. Although he genuinely loves his spouse, the allistic husband does not know how to show this in a practical way sometimes.  Instead, he may engage in utterly impractical gestures of affection, such as by spending exorbitant amounts of money on cut flowers or standing outside your bedroom window with a boombox.
  4. An allistic is often attracted to someone who shares his interests or passions, such as sportsball, and this can form a good basis for their relationship for people who don’t mind feigning an interest in sportsball events rather than sensible concepts like statistics.
  5. An allistic needs time to talk.  Often the best thing the NN partner can do is give her allistic the freedom of a few hours to rattle his teeth while she knits and writes Babylon 5 fanfiction in her head.
  6. An allistic often has a particular interest or hobby in order to seem more interesting to his or her peer group.  While this may border on trivial, the NN partner would do well to show interest in it.  It may even become something they can do together, so the NN partner can teach the allistic partner the benefits of normal focus and attention.
  7. An NN partner needs to understand her allistic’s tragic lifelong developmental affliction in order to work with him on their marriage.  She will need patience and perseverance as well as understanding that he functions on a wildly inferior emotional level to her, if indeed he functions at all.
  8. Allistics do marry, and while NN partners can be frustrated by their lack of emotional depth and physical expression of feelings, their allistic spouses do bring strengths into the relationship.  We don’t know what these are, but we assure you they exist.  If there is open communication, the NN partner can offer her allistic husband some gummy bears in order to improve in areas of weakness and encourage him in the things he is naturally good at, like talking and sleeping through the night.
  9. Allistics often have a specific area of weakness in marriage.  They often do not feel the need to express love in any way other than by “fixing” things around the house that are not broken or that they are not qualified to fix, and the NN partner can help them understand that knowing what the fuck they are doing is important.  Discussions about how to display competency, reading the instructions, and just hiring a damn professional already can be beneficial, but don’t be surprised if the results are amusing.
  10. Allistics never mature at all.  As young adults, they are often emotionally immature, preferring chest-bumping and beer pong to developing their skills.  As time passes, however, they can develop to a point where they are able to enter into a relationship with the opposite sex.  But only the opposite sex.  Allistics have great difficulty understanding that there are more than two genders and that none of them are actually “opposite” one another.
  11. Because allistics tend to talk and act differently to NNs, they commonly attract a specific type of partner: one who is not weirded out as fuck by their behavior.  Their spouses are often fucking heroes who should be crowned with laurel wreaths of great inspiration.  In many ways, they become a link between their allistic and society, which is still asking “what the fuck?” despite spending billions on research to answer the question of what, indeed, the fuck.
  12. Because the allistic does not have the same relational needs as the NN partner, he may be unable to recognize instinctively or to meet the emotional needs of his partner.  Marriages can thus form some dysfunctional relationship patterns, which are definitely all the allistic partner’s fault and which certainly never occur in normal marriages with real humans.
  13. For NNs who had normal expectations of the mutuality of marriage, HA HA HA OMG WHAT WERE YOU THINKING YOU ABSOLUTE LACEWOMBLE.
  14. In marriage, the allistic rarely displays great devotion to his partner and is unreliable, dishonest, and unfaithful.
  15. In the privacy of their relationship, the NN partner may become physically and emotionally drained, working overtime to listen to the allistic partner’s incessant rambling and to keep track of his most basic possessions.
  16. It’s important to look at the allistic’s motives rather than his actual behavior, which is often incomprehensible.
  17. Lowering expectations will make the marriage more predictable and manageable, even though you will die a little inside every time you do this instead of, you know, talking to the human you chose as your life partner.
  18. NN partners may begin to feel that they are entirely defined by the role they play to appease their allistic and his allistic friends.  There can be a sense that there is little understanding by the allistic partner that other people’s minds differ from his own.  This is a known limitation of allism and should be treated by a professional with liberal application of gummy bears.
  19. NN partners may feel that they are daily sacrificing their own sense of self to help fulfill the priorities of the allistic partner, who is often incapable of not demanding to be the center of attention at high decibel levels.  Reminding your allistic to focus on his area of interest instead of trying to make improper and intrusive eye contact can help.
  20. NN partners may resent the reality of living on terms dictated by the needs and priorities of the allistic partner, such as using spoken words, making eye contact, or eating different foods each day for dinner.  This failure to compromise certainly never happens in any other kind of relationship.
  21. Positive traits such as [whatever you can think of] are bonuses, and the NN partner can encourage her allistic by praising him and giving him a gummy bear for these.
  22. Sometimes a relationship with an allistic partner ends up being more one of practicality and convenience for the allistic than for the loving and meeting of emotional needs of the NN partner.  This is especially true for allistic males, who tend to take to heart the idea that women only exist as a sort of adoring support structure for their manplans.
  23. The allistic can sometimes be emotionally and physically overbearing and become focused on his partner to the exclusion of any legitimate interest.
  24. The NN partner may unwittingly fill the role of “personal assistant” rather than being an “intimate-romantic partner,” especially if the allistic has difficulty focusing on a legitimate interest without significant social supports.
  25. Your allistic partner may seem to be more focused on the people around them than on a particular interest, project, or task.  This is, of course, A Problem, but an NN spouse of good deportment and fine breeding can take well in hand by guiding her husband gently back to the topic of conversation, and by not wearing her corsets too tight.  Or by wearing them tighter?  Whichever one makes him think “boobs” instead of “not boobs.”
Advertisements

3 thoughts on “25 Tips for Spouses of Allistics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s