Why Does He Push Me Away Just When Things Are Getting Good?

I have been dating a man for the last 1 1/2 years.  To my knowledge, he is not aware that he has Aspergers, but I am 99% certain that he does. There were definitely sparks flying for both of us when we first went out.  I was confused by his blunt, inappropriate comments from day 1, but also found a certain innocence, honesty, and rare beauty not found in other prospective partners.  I could tell in his eyes that he was enamored with me.  However, he kept saying things like " I'm not ready to fall in love (but I like you alot)....I should probably be alone.....I am emotionally abusive.....I am not who you think I am....don't fall in love with me".  My first impulse was to run from him, and I did.  I also found him to be quite self-centered and wanting to talk about what interested him, but not what interested me. Other than initially asking me out, he can't seem to pick up a phone and call me - texting was his preferred method to contact me.   We spent about two months apart, and he never proceeded to contact me.  We reconnected in two months only because I initiated a phone call.  He stated that he" had never wanted to stop seeing me.....he just wasn't ready for a relationship".  So, we hooked back up and things took off like a rocket, but fizzled quickly to the point where he would text me only once or twice a week and only see me once a month.   This always takes place when things are getting good between us. It just flows when we are together.  Other than his ill-directed rudeness (which he is unaware of), it is a thrill for me to be around him.  I have learned to allow him to run things (did I say that he is also stubborn).  I am extremely patient with him even when other people run from him.  So, to spare all the details, it has been  hot/cold for the past 1 1/2 years with him.  His favorite thing to say to me (that kills the mood and my spirit) is that he doesn't love me and never will.  This is confusing because just as soon as he says it, I pull away, and he is back pursuing me.  Please keep in mind that he was married for 5 years.  His ex-wife did not understand what was his problem (Aspergers), and needless to say, things got ugly.  I know he is frightened of ever being hurt again and/or hurting anyone else.  He has likened me to his ex-wife on many occasions.  He states that he never loved her, but I can tell that he did - she is the only woman he talks about from his past.  I personally think he doesn't know how to deal with the disappointment over the loss of his marriage.  He has deep depressive episodes as well as obsessive/compulsive traits.  He is honest to a fault and can appear as rude and arrogant.  He has told me that his arrogance is just a way to hide his fears and insecurities.  Just when I think that things are over for us, he reappears at work (we work at the same place, but not always on the same unit). I can see him out of the corner of my eye as he proceeds to the assignment board (I'm a nurse) to find out where I am.  Then he will make a straight bee-line for me as if no one and nothing else exists except for he and I.  I love him alot although I realize I am in for a "ride" and a challenge.  Right now, things are silent again between us.  I got mad at him again and didn't want to talk to him.  We were having a wonderful lunch together and the "friend" talk came up again.  I can't take it anymore!  Everything is beautiful between us until he says that.  I know he will be back around, but I want a better understanding between us.  I want him to quit being afraid to love me (I know he does).  I want him to quit pushing me away everytime things get good between us. I am more than willing to learn to more effectively deal with him if he will give me the same.  Any ideas on how to bring together two people that dearly love each other?
es42 es42
10 Responses Aug 23, 2010

I have been dating a man who has asbergers for. 5 months. He has tried to break up with me twice and is now "taking a step back" because he's been sick and wants to take care of himself. I care about him dearly and the wonderful times are great, but I'm getting worn down and he hurts me. How do I cope? Do I run the other way ?

I am new to this site and I just found this story. I have been married now for 21 years with a man I believe has aspergers. What you described is my life. I am not a nurse, but he is a doctor. I haven't given up. This year I would say was the worst because he decided to get silent with me, in our home, for 5 very long months. They say, the older they get, the worse it gets. I don't know if that is true or not for all, but I am thinking that may be true in our case. I think I see resentment brewing there. He was a man who said he never wanted to get married and I actually believe he resents that he is stuck with me. One time when he was angry with me he said that because of me he can only be (sexually) with one person. I am 11 years younger than he is too! I am curious how things are going with you two. I found it flattering when he persued me because, lets face it, they don't like to commit. I wish I could change him in many ways in order to be happy with him. After 21 years you would think we would be best friends. We are not. He is very private, keeps a lot of secrets. I literaly have to snoop around to figure out what is going on. Who wants to do that just to find out what is going on. There has been many legal cases I found out about just by snooping. My heart hurts that he felt he couldn't confide in me. I found out about on problem he was going through and when I brought it to his attention, he would get very angry with me. I think he has caught on to the fact that if he is ugly to me, I will leave him alone. Marriage should be a beautiful thing between 2 people. It is also difficult for 2 NT's to be together. I am not giving up, but I am so tired and I am not the same person I used to be. I am not the kind who fights depression. But, there are many days that I feel low and just want to stay in bed and cry because of my situation. Our son, who is in big time puberty, can't stand how his father is too. He told me laughingly the other evening that he tries to make him angry because he wants to see his fathr have a melt down. He says he justs wants to see what he will do. I told him not to do that anymore. It did make me chuckle though.

It gets harder the longer you stay together. You start out his project; and end up being a piece of annoying furniture in the way. My hubby told me he would follow me anywhere, loved me, was very physically close to me, even told me he wanted to be a stay at home father when we were dating.

He spends 5min a day with his child now-anymore and he gets angry and complains. He avoids me, never talks to me besides to complain about me ie. I'm getting in the car this morning- after getting our child ready for church by myself(mind you, I am pregnant). I apparently was taking too long getting in the car? because he yelled at me ; Do you need help?. This was the extent of our conversation today, besides when he yelled at me to get away from his desk this afternoon. I asked if he wanted to watch a movie together-he said no- I don't want to do anything with you.

This is from a guy that says he loves me now. just watch yourself. If I had it to do over I would not.

When I read this post I immediately added it to my favourites.... why? Because it almost sounds like me as I read it (I have posted an experience on here too). I have added you as a friend and I can totally sympathise with what you are going through. The man I love has said the same sorts of things to me too yet I do not want him to change, I want him to be able to love me and to enjoy me in the same way that he did when we first got together. I am not sure if my loved one has Aspergers and have only recently brought this to his attention. I have emailed him a few links to some websites about it and have told him that I am here for him if he needs me. That is all I can do right now but for the meantime it is up to the man I love to work that out. I am here if you need to talk and believe me I share your frustations... it is annoying and I know that it is not easy. Take time to look after yourself a bit and make sure you make yourself number one rather than him. I love the man I care about but I had to realise that I had to take care of myself otherwise I would just end up getting sicker and sicker. I have a lump in my rib at the moment that I am waiting to get x rayed up in my local hospital and its been lingering around for a good half a year. I am not sure if this has been brought on by stress from loving this man or what but I know that it has made me take stock of what is important in my life. I have to take painkillers (in fact it is also an anti depressant as well) and its sad that I have this but I know that if I put more into him than me, my maybe Aspie man won't really understand and alot of the tiime you do feel alone. I am very fortunate I have a good circle of friends and even mutual friends that are very good to me. One friend has known my maybe Aspie since he was a teen and said right away I was more the adult in the relationship than him... he is 51 and I am 38. justme4u65, it does make me wonder if my loved one is also bi polar too as he dabbled in almost every recreational drug when he was younger and that has bound to have an effect on things. I thank you for letting me read about what happened to you as that would have been very tough going too.

I dated a man with Aspergers and bipolar. It was very difficult. When he was with me he was with me and when he wasn't he wasn't. I told him I felt like I was in a relationshiop by myself. You're story about him never contacting you sounds familiar. He said he wanted to wait ten years before marrying. He just abruptly ended before christmas and it was heart breaking. I had a lot of doubts and I have been reading and it seemed doomed to fail.

I dated a man with Aspergers and bipolar. It was very difficult. When he was with me he was with me and when he wasn't he wasn't. I told him I felt like I was in a relationshiop by myself. You're story about him never contacting you sounds familiar. He said he wanted to wait ten years before marrying. He just abruptly ended before christmas and it was heart breaking. I had a lot of doubts and I have been reading and it seemed doomed to fail.

He says these things because everyone has always found a problem with him and its easier to leave than to try to figure it out. It gets overwhelming because we cant communicate correctly. It less stressful to have only yourself to worry about. But, he fell in love, so hes torn. He loves you but doesnt want to hurt you. He longs to be understood by you but feels no one can. My advice for all dating aspies- ASK! If you want to be sure of they're saying, just ask. Literally. You wont offend them...ask away, and the closer you will be :)

I completely agree. ask him questions. I recently realized that I am probably an Aspie and one tactic that has worked really well for me with my friends and my current partner is that I tell people that if they ever want to know how I feel or what I am thinking that they should just ask, but be aware that I will answer with complete honesty. The questions that I have been asked has greatly helped me realize what is going on in other people's heads and understand the given situation better. Also it's a two way street, if they're allowed to ask, I'm allowed to ask and both parties can better understand each other.

Like why does he think he will never love you? Why he says that might be more convoluted than it first appears. My first relationship, I remember saying something of that sort to my partner, but I now suspect he possibly an Aspie as well or somewhere else on the AU spectrum because he would make similar statements and it would hurt. Upon further questions, we both determined that the reason behind both of our statements was that we could not conceive of what exactly love was and thus did not think ourselves capable of it. I am not sure what state he is in now, but I have since figured out what love means for me at least.

I have been married for less than a year to a man recently with diagnosed Aspergers. Before the wedding I was optimistic, happy, healthy, strong and independant and he appeared to be kind and gentle, in less than a year he has wrecked me emotionally, mentally and physically and done irreparable damage to my teenage daughter. He is unable to connect my distress with his psychological abuse and so cannot see any reason to behave any differently. You can't save your Aspie friend from himself, or change him, and he doesn't want to be. If there is chemistry that can pull you into a relationship with him again and again, sever ties in whichever way you can (he will get over it much quicker than you) and stay away from him for your own future mental and physical health, do it now before any 'survivor guilt' defuses your natural instinct to protect yourself. I wish I had followed this advice when I was advised to do the same by a psychologist, I thought he was different and love would conquer all, please don't make that mistake.

I recently decided I needed to end a 5 month relationship with a gorgeous, wonderful frustrating, unknowing Aspie man. I am reading posts to help me to make sure I did the right thing. It's unanimous. As much as i could love him, he simply can't let me and my soul would die trying. Sad. Thank you so much for helping to save my emotional life.

Don't marry someone whom you plan to change, it won't happen. Take him as-is or not at all. Yes, you do want people to improve in marriage and not stagnate, but you shouldn't marry someone with that assumption. It's not fair to them (or you!).

It seems you want to change him to be what you want. It doesn't sound like that's going to happen. Even though you love him, it seems you're never going to have it the way you need it. I think you 2 should just remain friends as he has stated and you should begin dating other men. Otherwise you might be waiting a lifetime for something that will never happen.