Where do I even begin on this topic?
We have all been told that people with Aspergers don’t have empathy (not true). We’ve been told people with Aspergers can’t really understand love. (not true). And yet I am writing this as I just returned from my honeymoon.
Let me start by dealing with the myths; yes, we Aspies DO feel emotion. Yes we DO have empathy. Yes we DO love.
We tend to have very strong emotions, and while we are guarded about how we put our hearts on the line, we go ‘all in’ once we do.
The issue isn’t that we are not emphatic, it is not that we don’t love. The issue is that we are very empathedic. It is that we love deeply. Overwhelmingly. And as those emotions rush around inside of us, it can be very difficult to articulate in a sentence or two how we feel. For you NT’s reading this; it is like trying to sum up the Bible in a single sentence.
We must come across as unloving because we don’t articulate those powerful emotions well. I admit, it takes a very special person to love an Aspie. It takes honesty. Lieing to an Aspie is devastating. We are very black and white. In my world love equals trust above all else.
It takes patience, we Aspies can be slow to articulate our feelings. Thus we don’t always make you feel loved with our words, but with our actions. It takes understanding and communication.
My wife is amazing. She has spent hours, days, even months trying to understand where I am coming from. And she has helped me to better understand how I need to communicate with her. After all, if I expect her to understand me, then it is reasonable that I should try to understand her. If I expect her to see the world as I do, then I should try to see the world through her eyes as well.
It took us years of building that open, honest relationship. It took me years to fully trust. It took us years to see from each others points of view. It wasn’t always easy, but nothing of value comes easy, does it? We still see things differently, see my post here about the wedding dress.
And now this amazing woman is my wife, my best friend, the person I trust without question.
Do people with Aspergers feel love? Yes, we feel a deep, loyal, consuming love. Are people with Aspergers able to show that love the way NT’s do? Maybe not. But it is not for a lack of trying.
Are there Aspies in the world who give up on love because it is difficult to share those feelings? Probably, but I hope not.
I don’t think the question is ‘do people with Aspergers feel love?’ Maybe the question should be ‘Can an NT and an Aspie make love work?’.
It isn’t easy, but it is amazing when you put forth the effort.
It took me many years to work toward this wedding day. In many ways I fought several emotional battles. But it was well worth every battle scar I earned along the way.