I have written another post about this that has become an entity of its own. I was trying to bring clarity to the differences between narcissistic idealized love (fantasies) and that of Aspergers ideals of love. I tried to find resources for Aspergers, but there are limited resources on the topic.
I did mange to find a few, but I found a lot more about narcissists.
However, with this post and the other I could not stay clear and direct on the topics I wanted to cover. So I hope by sharing this I can give a few helpful tidbits?? I will post the other tomorrow after I comb over it again. Let’s talk about Aspergers and love. (I reread this post Love Is Blind, Marriage Is the Eye-opener.) Many of us have deep, penetrating love for someone(people), our animals, our special interests, or one/all of the above.
Some of our behaviors can look (maybe a little bit “wink, wink”) obsessive.
Our “obsessive,” better words, extremely focused of all attention; behaviors are distinctively different from a narcissist. I have not read very many things that indicate that Aspergers people are psychic vampires or emotionally draining. Emotionally confusing, not showing empathy the ways others expect, possibly not very touchy/feely, may want to have (need) time alone, but I have not read articles where they say my Aspergers partner sucks the very life out of me and I am left in a constant state of confusion/fear/worthlessness.
Though I have read some of that from women dating/married to Aspergers men.
I cannot speak about that since I do not know their situation. I do not know his side of the story. I do not know what is going on in the household, or how they perceive his actions. Based on the many myths about Aspergers I am inclined to believe that there are other factors playing into the behaviors that these women describe that may be other than Aspergers.
I do not have enough information to make a proper judgment.
I did read this and for any women who may feel hopeless in their marriage maybe you will find some hope Married…with Asperger’s. Back to the obsession thing, can we become obsessed with individuals? Yes. And guess what? So can everyone else! The difference is that we are not very good at hiding it. If we care for someone, our emotions can take the best of us and override all other things. Here was a quick post that I found Asperger’s Crushes: When the Brain Gets Hijacked by Neuro-terrorists.
We can become obsessively madly “in love” with our special interests.
Do not misinterpret my statement. I love music; I used to be obsessed with music. I lived in a world that was nothing but music. I felt like it knew me, it spoke to me, it exposed me. I personalized it to be my best imaginary friend. I still feel deep connections with music, but I no longer become so engulfed that I spend hours in a music store or online searching for new music or old music.
I have had many things that I loved with all of my being.
I have loved my animals deeply. (I do love Mr. Nathaniel he is the BEST!) I have loved certain people in my life with more love than I can describe. I think my love for my children has trumped all other love for me. It is different and unique and even when I do not feel connected on this planet, my love for them connects me. I do not know how to explain it. I am not obsessed with my children. I actually, think it is the first time I have loved in a healthy way and that is why it is so different.
The thing about narcissists is that they do not understand that.
They are incapable of loving people or their “special interests” in a way that does not objectify. The only emotion and connection they feel are the intense drug-like effects and that is why there is a constant need to fulfill that instant gratification. They are not long lasting. They do not feel deeply connected.
They have only adopted the love for it to achieve some other master plan that they have meshing around in their mind.
People who feel that Aspergers (Autistics) do not love or are incapable, should consider their view of love differently. Stop for a moment and ponder, is there something that they love? A particular item, an animal, are they deeply moved by animals? Do they seem to show empathy toward a fish, but you feel that they do not for you? Or do they show more affection toward their books, computers, and sock monkeys? Ok, I was using myself there a little bit.
When you start looking at how emotions are expressed and where it is directed you could find some very helpful answers and ways to help your relationship.
I am only speculating and using my personal experience with my son who is autistic. When I changed my perspective and expectations, I quickly saw how he expressed his love and empathy. The confusion that swims around Aspergers lacking empathy is frustrating some days. A narcissist lacks empathy.
They are unable or unwilling to empathize with another person.
However, the narcissist is able to mask, pretend, adopt, and mirror in such uncanny ways that many times they seem to be the most empathetic person around. Aspergers can and do empathize, but it is not mirrored in the way that people have become expectant of. Our empathy can be the form of a question, taking care of a physical need, getting you food or water, it could even manifest in the form of cleaning. While you are sitting on the couch sobbing, my mom may get up and start sweeping your floor or doing the dishes for you.
That is how she shows empathy and her love.
She will make sure you are taken care of with Kleenex, water, or food, but she may not ask you anything about why you are crying. In her mind, she feels that you will tell her if you feel the need to talk about it. She is taking care of things that she knows are the last thing you want to think about. She will never say a word. She will not bring any attention to herself and she would prefer no one to say anything to her. A narcissist will tell you every single detail of what they did for you and expect a big grand THANK YOU as you sat sobbing on the couch.
Lack of Empathy: The Most Telling Narcissistic Trait
“Narcissists do not consider the pain they inflict on others; nor do they give any credence to others’ perceptions,” says Dr. Les Carter in the book Enough of You, Let’s Talk About Me (p. 9). “They simply do not care about thoughts and feelings that conflict with their own.” Do not expect them to listen, validate, understand, or support you.”
Any perceived nuisance from the narcissist is deemed as something that takes away from his/her plans. Unless they can twist the situation to make themselves look like a hero or they are trying to win over (conquer) their “idealized love” they will become annoyed or they will not even notice the person suffering in emotional or physical pain.
They will downplay the other persons emotional or physical hurt.
Aspergers people tend to be highly sensitive to these types of things. It can be subconscious where we only feel something, but have no idea why. Our heighten sensitivities cause us to shut down and look as though we do not care, are being selfish, lack empathy, or are indifferent. We may say things matter-of-factually that could be perceived as insensitive or lacking emotional support. We may be confused by the social situation which could cause us to say things that seem hurtful. We may not notice things because we are stuck on the details.
We also may not know how to respond which can cause us anxiety and fear of saying/doing the wrong things.
Many of us have been “socially corrected” so often that we have anxieties about hurting others. This can cause us to stay quiet or even walk away because it is much better not to hurt anyone than, to say or do something that would cause a person more pain. I wanted to establish that we do not lack empathy because I believe that may play a role in idealized love. Lack of empathy makes it easier to objectify others and situations. With idealized love, the person becomes an object. They are a fabricated fantasy of what the person desires. There is no way that anyone could ever achieve this status. Many of us desire that “ideal” love, but we are also aware that it is not reality.
How do we know that?
We observe human nature. All of us long for something that could fill our deepest of desires, but we also know that in reality it is unlikely that we would find the perfect anything. As an Aspergers person, I can share my experience with this.
I have a very vivid imagination.
There have been times in my life when I have been frightened that I could not tell the difference between my imagination and my reality. In the last year, looking over the times when this happened the commonality was that I was in highly traumatic situations or being heavily influenced by other people that caused me to doubt myself so much that it seemed to be my way of coping. I have also discovered that this is considered “normal.”
Have I idealized love?
Yes, but it was the idea of being loved. I have longed for mutual love, a partnership, a companion, a caring peer that understood me and accepted me. This could be a friend or a significant other. In my relationships, it seemed that I would become consumed into the other persons world, which seems much like narcissistic behavior, but I had no idea it happened. The initial thing that happened was that they adopted my world first then, at some point it switched.
I did not want to become someone else.
I would become absorbed into their ideals. I would lose my moral values and not even be aware of it. It would manifest in a complete loss of self. I have done this with all sorts of relationships. I believe it is because I had no understanding of boundaries or self-worth. A narcissist uses these tactics to mold, create, morph, and control the person they have idealized. I think for many Aspergers people when/if we become absorbed with a person it is because we want to get to know them – never to manipulate or control them.
After reading some of the ways that narcissists behave in order to win over their ideal love mate it is very clear that Aspergers are not the same.
At least, from what I have read and researched. Of course, it is not exhaustive so this is a little generalized. Basically, we all know that every individual is different and on their own spectrum of humanness. I cannot get this post out the way I want to either. Instead, I will stop now in hopes that I have made some good points here and add some resources. The main thing to remember, is that Aspergers people are not usually trying to treat you poorly. Our affections, attentions, and empathy may look different, but we are not out to try to hurt others.
We are not the ones who spend time planning and plotting manipulative ways.
It is rather difficult to be that cunning when you do not know how to read body language, social cues, whether or not someone likes you, are struggling with your sensory processing, and it takes all of your efforts just to get your name to come out of your mouth! Narcissists are charismatic, (not that Aspsergers cannot be) they use their charm to fool and trick. Aspergers can be spending much of our time trying to remember what to say next, or searching our brains for something to talk about. We are not usually harmful, abusive stalkers, in many cases we are the ones who have been stalked. This can contribute to a longing and yearning for an ideal love with friendship, or a partner. It could possibly be the image of the parents we wished we had, but I believe that many of us understand that we are seeking the love and acceptance that we have not felt throughout our lives.
I did not learn how to love myself, but I did not hate myself either.
I have been in a type of void limbo about this. I thought I should not like myself based on how others treated me, but I have to admit I have and do like myself. When I (did have) do have my time alone I always enjoy myself and much of the time I have more fun than when I am with people. Well, it depends on the people. I have babbled enough, I suppose …
The first link has point blank questions to ask when in a relationship of any kind.
Use them as a guide especially, if you feel that Aspergers people are anything like narcissists or abusers. If there seems to be red flags for you then talk to someone! Please do not blame Aspergers for every issue that seems selfish or lacking empathy. If your partner has a meltdown because things are not where they “belong” or the schedule gets changed, try to see it from their perspective. I know that it can be challenging and not make sense to those who see it as trivial, but there are reasons. Remember every person is different and all of us have expectations that need to be evaluated.
How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date (A list of questions to ask yourself.)
Philosophy of Love: An Overview
Narcissistic Love versus Unconditional Love
Don’t Be Fooled by a Narcissist
What Makes Narcissists Tick
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