Helpful Hint: In any relationship, and especially one like ours, a sense of humour is essential. We must be able to laugh at ourselves and with others.
So, let’s diablogue:
Christina: A few people, one way or another, have suggested that the deficit model—the idea that autistic people have the problem and non-autistic people must naturally take the ‘helping’ role —is leaking into our blog. Like in the way we talk to each other. Or in the topics. It made me think. That’s why I wanted today’s topic: The awesomeness of being a couple like us.
Ken: I wholeheartedly agree. We need to address these points because they are very salient. That being said, I see a great deal—and perhaps more—benefits than deficits to our autistic/non-autistic relationship. Would you concur?
Christina: For sure. Let’s balance the scales. One way it’s awesome having you as a partner is how direct we can be with each other. We can say what we mean without game playing, innuendo, or hidden meanings. That makes our relationship upfront, transparent, and strong.
Ken: Agreed. However, in our interactions, others may see you as being pushy or bossy. As a matter of fact, when we first starting dating, you informed me, jokingly, “I can be strong minded about things!” At the time, I did not know why you said that, but I have never considered you pushy. Rather, you are direct.
Christina: (laughs) Works for me.
Ken: I do not have to guess at what you need or want. As for your “bossiness,” the reason that is an incorrect assessment by others is because if you tell me something that I really do not agree with, I stand my ground and state my opinion. And you will listen to it and we make a judgement based on that. A bossy person does not do that; they shout commands and expect to be obeyed.
Christina: Well, uh, who wouldn’t like being obeyed?! (laughter) But I think, umm…
Ken: (carrying on, unfazed) Being on the spectrum, two-way directness is essential to avoid making mistakes in the relationship because most of us do not infer, have difficulty intuiting, and refuse to guess. And we cannot decipher grey. So one of the things that attracted me to you is that you can handle direct and you can deliver direct—be direct. And that is such a relief. It is awesome.
Christina: Yup. Awesome. And it saves so much time. We can pack a lot into a conversation by cutting out social padding.
Ken: Yes. However, if need be—for example, if I disagree with something—then there is a discussion. You discuss and I listen. And like most men, I just do it or go along with it. Good men do not have to swing our clubs around and thump our chests to prove we are men. Most everyday things are small; it does not matter which way we do it—the results are the same. However, the critical decisions are never dictatorial; they are solved through a balanced alliance.
Christina: Right. Moving on… another awesome thing about being married to an Aspie is that your different viewpoint on things often makes me laugh. It’s delightful—even, or maybe especially— when it’s incidental or accidental. Your quirky ways of seeing things, your sharp right-hand turns in thinking, your automatic word-plays, crack me up—and they happen many times a day. I know that when I’m old you will always make me laugh. That’s precious.
Ken: Thank you, this is a good thing to know. The advantage for me is that it works and I do not have to work at it. It is easy for me, like autopilot, and you take it with ease. As a matter of fact, you seem to need it. It is important to be able to address your needs.
Christina: Absolutely. It’s stress relief. Thank you.
Ken: For both of us. Thank you.
Christina: Ok. Another awesome thing. You are hyper kind. I can absolutely count on that as your response to ANY situation. That makes me kinder every day out in the world, and it makes us kinder to each other, moment by moment. For me, our autistic/non-autistic alliance is like a twisting vine growing out of kindness-saturated soil. The Dalai Lama said that our only role on this planet is to help others along. To be kind. I believe it. I try to live it every day. Being in this relationship helps a lot.
Ken: For me, kindness and unkindness are behaviours. Perhaps the reason that we are kind is that we are often victims of unkindness, and so I never want to behave unkindly to others. We are compelled to be inclusive because we are excluded a lot. Being inclusive is usually interpreted by the world as kindness.
Ken: What you do not realize is that in your reciprocal kindness, you are being inclusive instead of exclusive with me. There is mutual kindness; it is a balance.
Christina: Balance is good. Another example of the awesomeness of being with you is that I can always count on you to be there. In all ways. That matters. A lot.
Ken: You deserve no less. And you make me want to continue on this path.
Christina: We’re going to have to wrap this up.
Ken: Correct. However, to end, I wish to emphasize that what keeps us together, first and foremost, is our shared core values.
Christina: That’s what keeps all couples together—or what should. Everything else is small stuff.
Ken: There are, of course, many more awesome aspects to each of us. However, we are limited by space and time.
Christina: I think we need more blog time on this awesomeness track. Isn’t that awesome?!
Ken: Agreed. Shall we do Part 2 next post?
Next post: Dialogue #9- “Awesome Aspects of an Autistic/Non-Autistic Alliance, Part 2”