An interesting observation of pre vs post defense mode. My 41M partner is on the spectrum. When we first got together he was in a difficult living/life situation. He wasn't dx, and looking back he was deep in defense. I expected him to be NT, so when things came up or I wanted to make plans I would tell him. I thought by telling him in advance it would give him the time needed to adjust his own plans/expectations, and emotionally come to terms with it. Well, that backfired horribly. He would stress out about the upcoming thing, try to change the plan, or put up a huge fit about it. This was everything from me picking up an extra shift at work that disrupted a date night, to having to reschedule a vet apt. To the car's scheduled oil change and him needing to get off work early. So, I changed. I started not telling him until the last minute. I figured if he's going to stress anyway, why force him to stress for a week. Well this sort of worked. At least I thought it did. He didn't argue about sudden shift switches, or plan changes ect. As we kept living together and growing as a couple (and I stopped being an idiot trying to subtly use ABA style manipulation tactics) he slowly came out of defense mode. Life went on, and while we still have our ups and downs, emotionally he seems a lot better, and more willing to talk about his feelings. Recently he revealed how much he HATES the sudden last minute springing of plans/changes. We talked, and now I'm trying the original telling him in advance. I am still being aware of his emotional state and when it's all too much. But I wanted to share how sometimes earlier tactics really were the right move, just with the wrong timing. Ohh and for those wondering if you're spectrum child can grow to have a serious relationship/partner, we just celebrated our 8yr anniversary together.

Posted by millersam07 at 2023-02-17 17:05:46 UTC