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Long Distance Autistic Relationship

My boyfriend has recently moved to another country. His autism really isn't noticeable at all and normally doesn't phase him. However, he's never been out of his home town or away from his mother. This is the first time since we've met that we've been apart. He's been attending a university and does come back home and when he's home he's fine. As sweet and as caring as ever. He's been struggling with sleeping issues which gets in the way of his studies and he goes through rough patches with that. When he's down at university our relationship really struggles because of communication, and he eventually gets so stressed that he just shuts me out. We've both had numerous discussions about this and neither of us want to break up. I'm aware that he's struggling because all of a sudden he's been thrown in to all sorts of unfamiliar territory and I can only imagine how hard it must be for him, I really want to find some way in which I can help him. I just want to make things easier for him, I hate to see him struggling. 

Thank you.

Replies

  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 7,732Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @FeatherMask I am sure that @PSHEexpert will be along soon, I just thought it might be worth bringing our ASD advisor in to, @VioletFenn do you have any thoughts on this?
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • FeatherMaskFeatherMask Posts: 8Member Connected
    Okay thank you!
  • VioletFennVioletFenn Posts: 124Member Pioneering
    Hi, @FeatherMask
    I'm so sorry for taking so long to reply! I hadn't seen my notifications for some reason. 

    I've never been in your situation, but if it was me in your boyfriend's place right now, I think what would help more than anything is to be left to get on with things. It sounds like he simply doesn't 'get' the communications thing and if it's caused by his ASD then it's unlikely to change, however hard you try. 

    Could you agree a set schedule for contact whilst he's away - maybe just one text a day or something? That way he has clear instructions to follow, which always makes life easier. And if he's anything like me he won't know how to interpret what a satisfactory level of communication even is, so that's quite possibly adding to his stress anyway.

    He might well not even see things as problematic. One of my strongest ASD traits is 'out of sight, out of mind' - unless someone is literally in the room with me I simply don't think about them. It certainly doesn't mean that I care any less. Maybe he's the same? 

    I don't think his behaviour is any reflection on your relationship, it's more likely that it's just the way he is. Make the most of things when you're together and try not to worry when he's away.

    Hope that helps a tiny bit. Good luck!

    Violet
    ASD advisor, Scope

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