Chris Packham show - glossing over relationship problems

Did anyone else find the Chris Packham show (https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09b1zbb/chris-packham-aspergers-and-me) worrying? 

Had Chris chosen to be single, I would have applauded every aspect of this show and agreed wholeheartedly with his horror at the 'curative treatments' he witnessed in the USA / sentiment that his Aspergers was an intrinsic and positive part of his make-up.

But he isn't single, and I was horrified at how casually the show treated the dysfunction in his relationship with Charlotte. 

He admitted to having difficulty in empathizing with other humans. The only feeling he expressed for Charlotte was gratitude that SHE loved HIM; he showed her no affection, avoided physical contact with her, said that he only knew how long they'd been together because she had told him (10 years), aggressively forced her to greet his dog before he otherwise acknowledged her after a significant period of time apart... for her part she acknowledged many difficulties in the relationship but the show presented her concluding that it was worth it because she so admired how his mind works. Was that just editing? Can it really be enough? Surely anyone can admire how his mind works, it doesn't mean that you have to be in an exclusive 'romantic' relationship / 'partnership' with that person to witness it.  

I worry for her enormously, because I am only just now recovering from a "catastrophic" end to a relationship with a man on the Autism Spectrum. I wrote on this forum about it last year. The short version of it is that I supported him for years, and he ended our relationship a few hours after my Dad's traumatic death because HE found it too intense.

There was more too, but beyond the scope of this post. It's impossible to express the psychological impact these events have had on me, it was devastation upon devastation. That was about a year and a half ago. It has been a very tough time and although I'm starting to pull through now, my own mental health has been in the toilet for most of it. 

What is a relationship for if not reciprocal intimacy and support? The show completely glossed over his really unpleasant attitude to humans in general, and Charlotte in particular. In addition, I'm concerned that the show may have given the impression that treating a partner with such disdain is acceptable. It's not.

I completely agree that Aspergers has unique potential to offer a whole other set of intellectual skills which are of enormous value to humanity, but it is my opinion that it is irresponsible for someone who does not have the capacity for human empathy to be involved in a romantic relationship. 

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  • I think I'm a probably over empathic female but I find it hard to connect to my OH, I don't think it is all me. I was uncomfortable too at his obvious distancing, was that just editing? 

    The hardest bit to watch for me was his step-daughter having no grasp of why he wouldn't go to her graduation. I can completely understand why he would do that given a choice (private income and house), but can simultaneously feel her pain at being left alone in that situation. It felt to me that he had enough power and money to implement complete isolation/selfishness. 

    Most of us don't have that option and wouldn't want to hurt others that much (perhaps I mean females here, but I'm not sure). It hurts me to be hurtful, though sometimes I know I am. His girlfriend said in the Radio Times interview that they were working towards living together, I saw no sign of that from him and it made me sad for her.

    I wish you all the very best strength with your recuperation from an obviously difficult relationship and time.

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