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Found out his major flaw and can now put it into words
September 1, 2005
1:35 pm
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artist 2
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He lives on an island, inside a bubble. I have to catch him in the moment, because he will not remember promises or ideas made later. Communication is useless because he will not remember the important things that were said.

So, there it is. I have to decide if I can live with this the rest of my life, or if I should cut loose now.

September 1, 2005
1:41 pm
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artist 2
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Oh, and he is only reliable if I remind him. It cannot be done the first time without a reminder.

He speaks without thinking all the time. I cannot rely on what he says. I have to ask if he really means it and second guess every time.

He is impulsive, which can be fun in a way, but most of the time it's just troublesome.

Because of the bubble, he does things that make me think, "Does this man even know who I am? Does he even pay attention?"

I often feel he does not know me as a person. It's not that I don't communicate or that I hide things. I am very clear and adamant. It's just that it doesn't go into his head, like it doesn't go into his ears. It's like the only thing happening in there is what he wants to say or do, and he makes it known.

Will a person like this ever change? I wonder if we should go to counseling?

September 1, 2005
1:46 pm
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gingerleigh
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Artist, Artist, Artist... you know you can't make another person change. Examine the patterns in your life and past relationships... were you waiting for them to change? And did they? History repeats itself.

"So, there it is. I have to decide if I can live with this the rest of my life, or if I should cut loose now."

He is what he is. Is it enough? Only you can answer that though. I settled when I got married, and guess how that turned out. (Stellarly... NOT.) And while you're stuck with Mr. He'd-Be-Great-If-Only-He'd-Change, what about Mr. Much-More-Compatible-With-You-Without-A-Makeover that might be standing in line at the coffee shop next to you that you're not available to meet?

September 1, 2005
1:47 pm
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artist 2
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Oh, you mean Mr. Perfect? I'm sure he's right around the corner, or on the other side of the fence!

Thanks Ging.

September 1, 2005
1:54 pm
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Matteo
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Ha, ha, ha ! "Mr. Much-More-Compatible-With-You-Without-A-Makeover" I love it! Yeah, that's the goal!

No, he doesn't to be Mr. Perfect.

September 1, 2005
2:00 pm
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Matteo
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What I've ment is: No, he doesn't have to be Mr. Perfect.

September 1, 2005
2:08 pm
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gazelle
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Hi, artist. Have you described him on another thread that I missed? I'm interested in his character. How have his other relationships been? Do you think he is childishly self-centered & irresponsible, living in the moment without consistent memory or forward planning?

Can he describe the personalities of other people & 'know' them either, if you say he doesn't really 'know' you or take in your thoughts & feelings & characteristics?

Could he have some personality disorder like Aspergers? Does he realise how he comes across to you? Can he see other people's points of view? Can he empathise?

Do you think he can develop & grow out of it, with careful training & help (should he decide he wants this) or does he not understand the nature of your / his problem? CAN he listen with his brain and emotions fully engaged?

Sorry for the barrage of questions! So much of this is familiar to me from a past relationship and also my friend's intelligent teenage son with Asperger's & ADHD. How I feel for you, whatever the case!

Warmest good wishes as you evaluate everything. Blessings - gazelle.

September 1, 2005
2:14 pm
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gingerleigh
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You'll never know if you don't at least look around the corner... can't blame a gal for tryin'.

September 1, 2005
2:37 pm
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kathygy
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It doesn't sound like there is enough there to make a healthy, happy relationship with this man. You wonder if he'll change. Yes, he'll change in the direction of things getting worse if you were to marry him. You shouldn't have to put up with all of this. He's obviously not available for emotional intimacy which requires honest and honest communication on a regular basis. You deserve so much more than the little this man has to offer. Think about your needs. Does he meet them? You deserve to have your needs met. You deserve a man who is available to you consistently, is reliable, treats you with love and respect in a consistent manner. You can have so much more. Why settle for so little?

love,
kathy

September 1, 2005
2:42 pm
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artist 2
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Good questions...

He has had 5 other serious relationships, lasting for one and a half years at the least. His marriage lasted a year and a half. I'm not sure how he was in them.

I think a lot of it is that he is impulsive, and chooses to live in the moment, to have fun. He does volunteer work, which I'm not sure if he's just trying to make up with what he knows is self-centeredness.

He has the ability to envision future plans--in general. But, for the near future--no.

When he talks about his other friends, they are all "great guys" or othrwise nondescript.

He doesn't seem to empathize with me. I've had complaints before but he chalks them up to flukes. Like: a long-time friend of his did something I consider to be disrespectful. He took up for him and said he didn't mean to. Another friend did something else, and he said he couldn't believe any one would do such a thing. That it was a malfunction. Either he just wants peace at any cost, or he just doesn't care how his friends treat me. Yet, he can say he loves me and cares, blah blah. His actions don't seem as inspired as his tongue.

Yet, when I bring all this up to him, he says how could I say that with all he does for me? and starts listing all the things he's done for me lately... really drives me nuts.

I don't know if he can listen with his emotions, or have the ability to empathize. I have not seen evidence of it. He can let me cry on his shoulder, and pet my head. That's nice. But to really see it from my point of view? NO.

Thanks for the quesitons. Very helpful.

September 1, 2005
2:49 pm
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artist 2
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Kathyg,

it's like he goes through the motions, and thinks it should be enough. But he really doesn't even know me.

Like: I like folk and classical music. But, he spent money on expensive tickets to a concert for blues and rock in a smokey bar. From the start I've told him I don't like hanging out in bars. He said he wanted to surprise me? After building up my expectations for this "secret" event he wouldnt' tell me about, I was really disappoined.

So, it's like he makes up for this by doing good deeds. Providing dinner, accompanying me on trips, he does favors that I ask for. He assists when I ask.

I was began getting sick two days ago--he has not asked me once how I was feeling. He asked what he could do, and I said remind me to take my medicine. He has never once done that either. It's like he's off in his world, and I'm over here in another.

He's affectionate one minute, then he's off checking his email the next. It doesn't feel very reliable. And I keep getting this nagging sense that he doesn't understand me as a person.

September 1, 2005
2:56 pm
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gazelle
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At risk of repetition, it does sound very much like Asperger's Syndrome. Check it out - there are many good websites. He means well & really thinks he's being good & does his best, but just doesn't 'get it'. Poor you! Blessings - gazelle.

September 1, 2005
3:01 pm
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artist 2
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Exactly - thanks. I'm reading up on it now...

September 2, 2005
10:35 am
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kathygy
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If a man doesn't hear me or care about what I am feeling that's a deal breaker for me. It sound slike your boyfriend lacks self awareness into his behavior. You deserve someone who really listens to how you are feeling and can support you in your feelings. It doesn't sound like you are feeling very fulfilled by this relationship. You are being treated poorly by your boyfreind. Why are you staying in this relationship? He;s not going to change unless he starts going to therapy and starts working on himself but it doesn't sound like he's interested in that. You deserve to have your needs met and to feel happy and fulfilled in a relationship.

love,
kathy

September 2, 2005
1:59 pm
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shyshy
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Artist, sounds somewhat narcissistic to me.

September 2, 2005
2:22 pm
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gazelle
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Not to me, Shyshy. I see no signs of Narcissistic grandiosity; no sense of superiority or "entitlement"; of ego-strutting or unrealistically grand expectations of adulation from the world.

Those are the main characteristics of self-obsessed Narcissists, for whom no-one else really matters except to serve and admire them.

Just my opinion, but I stand by my suggestion from the descriptions given. Of course, I could be way wrong!

Hope you don't mind my friendly disagreement - no offence meant. Blessings - gazelle.

September 2, 2005
2:36 pm
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gazelle
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Aspergers' lack of empathy is not malicious or deliberately selfish. It's completely innocent. Aspies mean well, and do all they can to please people and fit in. He may be v attractive, fun, open and child-like (rather than selfishly childish.) Often v intelligent too. And a characteristic is a sense of fair play and a hatred of injustice & desire to 'do good' - like the volunteer work you mentioned. No Narcissist would do that, unless purely for show or to get accolades.

They DO feel emotions deeply - but have trouble identifying & articulating them. They express love & affection by DOING rather than through words and descriptions. They can have a shrewd sense of people's basic character without being able to describe or express it. They find putting things into words difficult.

Abstract concepts are a big challenge - and sometimes Aspies find generalities and abstract ideas v confusing or incomprehensible. That doesn't necessarily mean they lack understanding though. Just the means & faculties to pull out the right concepts and ideas & words. It's more visceral and intuitive with them.

Being "different" doesn't mean being "less". Logic, reason, ability to systematise etc come easy to Aspies. As do concentration on facts & figures and ability to work v hard. And love faithfully too - even though this sometimes doesn't get expressed in ways the partner would like ideally.

Sorry to go on & on ... this is a subject v close to my life & dear to my heart.

More genuine blessings - gazelle.

Artist - I could be completely up a gum tree here about your guy! He could just be rather immature & about to grow & develop for all I know. Lol. Though what I've said does hold true for people with the syndrome (or 'different brain-wiring'.)

Please tell us how you get on!

September 2, 2005
4:48 pm
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D dog
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gazelle -

I have never heard of this syndrome, but what you have written here decribes my "guy" exactly. I mean, 100%.

I have been checking a few websites...thank you so much for this info.

September 3, 2005
2:27 am
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sewunique
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Artist,

Could he be ADD (attention deficit disorder) or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)?

Just a thought with the impulsiveness, childness behavior, not remembering things, impulsiveness, etc. Adults often are not diagnosed until their own children are, or others in the family. Quite intelligent people can be with this disorder and never realize they have it and most adults have learned tricks and techniques to disguise it or cope with it to get on with life. There is a web site on it as well.

Counseling sounds like a good option. His choice, of course.

Let us know how it comes out. As I keep around reading. Best wishes,

~Sew~

September 3, 2005
2:35 am
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sewunique
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You can do a search engine on:

ADD or ADHD

or go to: CHAAD.org

it could be this, maybe not, just wortha try?

September 3, 2005
2:55 am
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Neshema
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Okay, I need to chime in here. I really am concerned about diagnosis and labeling people we don't even know. I happen to know something about all these terms, and a diagnosis of Asperger's requires a thorough psychological evaluation by a credentialed clinician. Furthermore, there is not complete agreement as to what Asperger's is and how to define and measure it. So, at the avoid sounding too nerdy here, I am going to respond to the original post.

Artist, the more you talk about this person, the less you sound like YOU like him. If you reread what you say, it just doesn't sound like there is anything you like about him. On the other hand, it sounds like you were frustrated with the suggestion of finding someone else who might be around the corner. And, I don't blame you one bit, because as we all know here, it seems like everyone comes with baggage or issues or something unacceptable these days. The idea of finding someone that we like just the way they are (and vice versa) seems unattainable, and that probably explains the high divorce rate. So, I don't have the answer for you. I struggle with it myself. My goal is to find someone someday whose flaws or issues I can work with, and who makes me happy enough, that when I tell people about him, I am focusing on all his wonderful qualities, that, like my parents who have been married for 48 years, we have a rule not to go to bed angry, we talk to each other with respect ALWAYS, and we rediscover why we are so lucky to be together over and over. That is what my parents had and that is what Christopher and Dana Reeve had...that is the model. That said, I share your pain and fear of letting go of something far less, because the probability of finding what I described, is the very rare exception, not the norm.

All this in mind, I encourage you not to diagnose this man, as you do not have the training. Ask yourself if you really do like, respect, and appreciate him (regardless of whether you think you love him). Write down all the things you don't like about him and all the things you want in a partner. Then, you can decide if you want to stick it out with him for now or not. If you do, then you realize that there are lots of things about him that are suboptimal. Do you have a plan for dealing with that?

September 3, 2005
4:25 am
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sewunique
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Nesh,

I totally agree with your post. I really do. However, I do think that people sometimes are desparate to find anything for an answer that may help them with their questions. Perhaps we look in the wrong direction. Then again, perhpas we give out advice when we too are grooping at some key to whatever. People with diseases is another issue in the same regard. People jump the gun and imagine all sorts of far fetched ideas of what is wrong and what the casues are. They are desparate for answers. Some here live on high drama; real or imagined; with themselves or others.

But, in saying I do agree with your post, is just another way of saying what I have been thinking. Course, that is why we have trained counselors and doctors. Sort of helps in giving us the answers. Sometimes we do not believe it or expound upon the facts. Just another way to add drama or significance to one's lives.

Additionally, I agree, Artist does have some questions in trying to figure out not only WHAT is gooing on here with her friend, but also, where to go with this relationship. What say you, Artist?

~Sew~

September 3, 2005
4:50 am
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Neshema
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Sew, good question, what say you, artist, we are most curious, because we have been here too. It's tricky as no option seems like a good one until the knight in shining armor shows up, and when we realize life didn't turn out as planned and might not, do we settle for some gratification? Some thing to think that being alone is better and some thing to think than endless waiting will bring our soul mate, but it just is often a fairy tale...how to live with life's reality and come out with the most happiness and contentment and least bruises, now that is a tough one for sure. It is all about about what we can live with and what when it crosses the line of you basic values, needs and wants. WHat you can live with and what you can't take, and how long it takes you to figure that out. Sometimes relationships, if not abusive need to run their course and die their natural deaths. Ending a relationship before you are sure, can lead to second guessing, jumping back in and making things worse, and just more heartache and missing the person. Don't do something you aren't sure about. So what do you need to do to be sure?

September 3, 2005
9:40 am
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22haha
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artist,
I feel your pain. I actually talked last night (I should say yelled and cried) with my bf about this. He thinks what he is doing is fine. He thinks he treats me well (at least thats what he tells himself). I found it ironic that you said "I often feel he does not know me as a person. It's not that I don't communicate or that I hide things. I am very clear and adamant. It's just that it doesn't go into his head, like it doesn't go into his ears. It's like the only thing happening in there is what he wants to say or do, and he makes it known". I think I said those exact words last night. He only hears, thinks, sees, feels, communicates what HE wants to and the rest of it is in one ear and out the other. I asked him why he pushes me away and then wants me back 2 weeks later his answer "I'm a glutton for punishment" as if I am the one treating him poorly. So, long story short... I don't think these type of people change for the better or they already would have. They like who they are and they don't want someone to make their life happy or better. They enjoy being miserable. Let it go.... (easier said than done.)

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