hi I'm Hannah and ive been with my boyfriend for 10 months now and I think I'm doing kind of okay with supporting him and his autism. I just think that I need to work on a few things like helping him feel okay communicating his feeling with me. If we have a disagreement or something goes awry or even sometimes after just an innocent off hand comment he will completely shut down for like 20mins minimum just withdraw completely, lay down in a ball, silent, eyes closed. It passes with time but often I am too worried of triggering something again to try an discuss what happened and even if I do he often tries to avoid it completely. even recurring things like why he refuses to come to my house anymore when he used to be okay with it are completely off limits and I don't know how to approach this issue. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can help him open up to me?
Firstly, i can find it difficult to communicate feelings. I have feelings but trying to articulate them in words and then utter them can be a challenge. I tend to show that I care through gesture (cooking you lunch, making the place comfortable) rather than words.
I have good and bad days and the bad days can exacerbate my autistic traits and make them more pronounced. For example, the more unsettled things are the more I cling to set routines...
Have a read through this article. I recently shared it with my OH - I hope it is of use:
I know you have questions and concerns that you want to address with him - try to be patient and don't "spring" a discussion onto him as that will catch him off guard and probably freak him out. He more than likely churning the same concerns as you are in his head but maybe struggling to express them. It may be helpful to try and think of different ways to "voice" your concerns - maybe putting them in writing so he has a change to consider the question and reflect in his own time before he responds.
Hello Hannah. I'm ever so sorry I might have misunderstood something that you have written and I am sorry if I have. Also the others might not agree with me. Also I'm not very good at explaining things.
I'm your title you put your boyfriend and his autism. I think that he is autistic. There is no and. So I am not song and her autism it the autism is part of me, in every part of me and everything I do, think, and say. If at times you can't see that I am autistic it's because I can hide it.
Thank you so much for the link it was a good read and I think I definitely got some great info from it.
I’ve offered up many different options for communicating writing it down, typing it and even asked if he had a way that he would prefer to discuss things but nothing ever comes of it he just never seems to want to even try.
I totally understand that way of thinking, I’ve always been taught to refer to people as more than just their differences which is why I just phrased it that way out of pure habit.
He may not know what he's feeling. The word I've been using for this is alexithymia.
"helping him feel okay communicating his feeling" Maybe it isn't not feeling OK about it that's stopping him communicating the way you expect. It's not lack of acceptance of walking that means a paraplegic gets around in a chair.