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Connecting With Your Asperger Partner: Negotiating the Maze of Intimacy Paperback – 15 Mar 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd (15 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849051305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849051309
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 394,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

This book is such an important one in today's world as the population of Aspies is growing older and the increase in Aspie/Neurotypical couples is increasing as well... One of the biggest enjoyment in reading this book is that it is a true life story of someone who married an individual diagnosed with AS,,, The book offers an array of activities to assist the NT individual in the process of adjusting and living with a partner who is diagnosed with AS... The author's writing style is one that draws the reader into her personal journey while providing helpful hints along the way that are sending a clear message...I found her examples of "the NT/Aspie energy cup" a fantastic way to get a better look and appreciation of the differences between someone on the spectrum and an NT. Weather you or someone you know, NT or on the spectrum, when the time comes and there is an increase likelihood for the two to potentially establish a relationship, this book is a must! -- Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders The title of this book says it all. It is extremely apt for the content of the book and it does what it says on the tin! The style is easy to follow having lists, charts, bullet points and headings together with pages of text. It gives advice on living with an Asperger partner in very practical terms, right down to how to construct a conversation that is clear and will be understood. The book recognises the difficulties of relationships that have not yet identified or had a diagnosis of Aspergers but then gives many tips, a wealth or information and support to the neuro-typical partner. It also talks about the quirkiness and associated fun and joys of an asperger partner, which I can endorse... This is a great book to give information to other family members so they can understand and use some of the techniques described. It would also be very useful for counsellors for the same reasons. There are specific chapters of interest e.g. Letting go of Expectations, Surviving Blunt and Harsh Words. However the whole book taken in context is an exemplary picture of Aspergers Syndrome, its impact on ordinary life but also the vast improvements that can be made and the enjoyment that is possible in the relationship. -- accord What makes it potentially more useful to neuro-typical (NT) partners is its very positive and confident message, based on both the author's own experience in an Asperger marriage, and that of others whose contributions are included, that Asperger marriages can become both functional and fulfilling... It's an extremely practical book, with a straightforward though not simplistic approach, based on four Vital Keys: 1) Learn about AS, 2) Let go of expectations, 3) Maintain your energy cup and 4) Aim for a quick recovery time (from AS meltdowns), which are all explained and expanded on, and is strong on coping strategies for the NT partner, with useful chapters too on "does a diagnosis help?", on communication strategies, and on grieving the loss of the relationship that might have been... Lastly, it's reassuring for us that as well as the value of self help reading and support groups, the author also advocates engaging in counselling, both 1:1 and couple counselling, with an appropriately knowledgeable counsellor, and so as well as being a reliable recommendation for "NT partners", it will also be an informative read for couple counsellors. -- The Loop A number of clinicians and professionals are called upon to address the needs of couples where one partner has Asperger Syndrome. Louise Weston's book reveals itself to be an important tool in the process of understanding and accepting the issues these couples experience. With a wealth of examples and practical suggestions, she addresses elements essential to couple harmony, satisfaction, and quality of life for partners and families alike. Her positive approach is inspiring and adapted to the reality of these couples. A must read! -- Isabelle Henault, author of Asperger's Syndrome and Sexuality: From Adolescence through Adulthood. If you are in a relationship with a partner affected by Asperger syndrome (AS) and the love and devotion you both share together is strong and committed then you will find this book invaluable. Louise has used both her personal experiences and research to offer realistic and practicable advice on how the neurotypical (NT) partner can keep themselves energized, healthy, and psychologically strong, by finding alternative ways to feel emotionally supported. As Louise clearly explains if awareness and understanding of how AS will impact on the relationship can be achieved then both partners will benefit. A really useful, positive book that would benefit couples affected by AS, and also counsellors and professionals who come into contact with AS/NT couples. -- Maxine Aston, author of The Asperger Couple's Workbook and Aspergers in Love Louise Weston has written Connecting with Your Asperger Partner as a relationship manual to enable both partners to understand each other's expectations and perspective, and provide advice on how to connect successfully from conversation to intimacy. The style is clear and engaging, the strategies realistic and practical and the overall theme positive and optimistic. I know that couples will have many 'eureka' moments in terms of explanations of thoughts and experiences, and that many relationships will be repaired and enhanced by incorporating her advice. -- From the Foreword by Tony Attwood With her gentle warmth and never-ending optimism, Louise Weston guides you through the maze of intimacy and helps you develop the skills needed to connect with your Asperger partner. This book provides useful and rare insights into the Aspie mind, and enthusiastically encourages NTs to look after and find themselves again. -- anonymous NT, married to an Aspie for 30 years Couples in which one partner has Asperger's Syndrome while the other does not face unique challenges. There have been few resources available to help them as conventional approaches to couples therapy are not effective. Louise Weston has written a frank and practical guide for women who are determined to make these relationships work. The first person accounts which are generously interspersed provide validation of the difficulties inherent in bridging the gaps between partners. Ms. Weston understands the need for taking care of oneself while investing in improving the relationship. She offers recommendations and encouragement which will be appreciated by those engaged in this demanding process. -- Harriet F. Simons, Ph.D, LICSW; Adjunct Associate Professor at Smith College School for Social Work; Therapist in private practice in Boston, MA, specializing in Asperger's relationships An invaluable resource for partners of people with Asperger's Syndrome, Connecting With Your Asperger Partner is a thoughtful, hands-on, practical guide for the partner who's not sure what to do next. Weston offers sound advice in a loving, knowledgeable tone that will give any reader the confidence to repair relationships and grow together in a healthy way. -- ForeWord Reviews Summarizes useful emotional and behavioral strategies and includes further readings and resource suggestions for partners, family members, coworkers, and counselors of individuals with AS. -- Library Journal Connecting with your Asperger Partner: Negotiating the Maze of Intimacy uses the author's own experiences of being married to a man with AS to show that the road to intimacy begins with letting go of expectations and looking after one's personal needs first. Strategies for connecting with an AS partner come second - and are explored here in an excellent survey highly recommended. -- The Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Louise Weston is a Registered Nurse from Queensland, Australia. She was the former co-ordinator of a monthly support group for NT partners and spouses of individuals with Asperger Syndrome. She has a Bachelor of Nursing degree and a Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training. Louise is happily married to her husband Graham. After they were married in 1999, Graham was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. His diagnosis was inspirational in writing this book.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Book worm on 24 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I first opened the book version and read the introduction I thought the book had been written about me. I bought it again on kindle so that I could read it without my husband knowing, as he is still in denial of his aspergers. It is hard to live with a person when you are disappointed that your dream person has turned into the stuff of nightmares, but it becomes more possible when you read this book.

It does seem unfair that all of the compromise lies in the hands of the NT while the aspie gets away with atrocious behaviour (by anyone's standards other than their own) scot free. However, you have to judge whether you think it is worth it for the moments of shared intimacy and humour. I have developed a tool, whereby the harsh words are caught in a version of a child's duckie bib, and allowed to flow over me 'like water off a ducks back'.

You also have to remember that they are not choosing to behave badly to spite you, rather that for them, there is no other way.

I have also lent the book to a friend who says that it changed/saved her life.

So now I think this book was written FOR me rather than about me and that with practice I can help things to become more harmonious in our relationship - though it is still not easy, ever!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By chezzy on 20 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a very necessary book for those struggling through the minefield of aspergers syndrome and associated problems in your marriage or relationship.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 24 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book to start very good but unfortunately I only gave it two stars because in real life it would not work unless you are gong to let your partner get away with anything. I have a son who has aspergers as well as my husband and I asked my sons's psycologist and OT about the main line that keeps recurring in the book "no expectations no disappointments" and they said under no circumstances can you accept that. There will always be problems and always you will have to give them some leeway but you have to have expectations and they also have to learn to achieve if not all of them some of them. I would not be the most vocal of people and have taken a lot off both my husband and son but sorry. This book was not for me. If you want to let your partner get away with absolutely everything (except abuse) then read away.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 19 reviews
58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Huge disaappointment 3 Sept. 2011
By Artemus Archer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was drawn to the title of this book and as there is such a deficit of good books for the partners of Aspies, I was hopeful. Aspies and others on the ASD spectrum have such great potential to be wonderful partners once they know the "rules" because once they accept a rule, they are much better at consistently following them than NT. My aspie partner is great at giving me what I need because he's an aspie, not in spite of it.

I hoped this book would be what its title suggested-- a way to negotiate the maze of intimacy for a more fulfilling relationship for both parties.

Despite its title, this book is not about connecting with your Asperger partner; rather, it's about lowering expectations to the point where they're already met, tacitly accepting abusive behavior, detaching emotionally from your partner, and finding "support" groups so you can complain about your aspie partner. The author's tone struck me as quite pathetic (and I don't intend that in a mean way). There was a tone in her writing style -- as though she's this noble martyr who was too afraid to find a loving relationship and so settled for her aspie -- that I found difficult to bear. It sounds as though this book was written for and by people whose relationships are in "fight, flight, or freeze" mode and while it may work as a short term survival strategy (just as it does for individuals), it certainly doesn't offer long term advice for growth, healing, and nurture.

I felt particularly offended with the repetitive "have no expectations" mantra. Could you imagine a book for the parents of Asperger's children offering the advice of "Since you love your Asperger's child, you should eliminate all expectations of them."? While it is true that having no expectations leads to no disappointment, it also is true that having no expectations leads to falling standards, stunted growth, and a terrible waste of potential. The author's advice is also quite myopic. If we find it unacceptable for a child on the ASD spectrum to have meltdowns, why on earth would we find it ok for an adult on the ASD spectrum to have a meltdown in which they become verbally abusive especially if this adult has children!

The book is also filled with "quotes" from Aspies and Neurotypicals, but given that the vast majority are written by "anonymous," I wonder if the author just conjured all of them up, especially since many of them are written in a style quite similar to the author's.

I found The Asperger Couple's Workbook by Maxine Aston to be much more helpful and balanced in that Aston presupposes that the success of a relationship involves the responsibility of both parties.

I also think Jed Baker's No More Meltdowns very informative as well, and though it was written for parents of children with ASD, its strategies are adaptable to partners of those with ASD.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Horrible Book 19 Nov. 2011
By DJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is by far the worst AS book that I have read so far. And I have read a lot. I think a better title would be "how to lower your self esteem and become a doormat". My AS man and I are in a fairly good place right now but always looking to improve. This book literally made me cry, from the first chapter. If I were in a bad place and looking for encouragement this book probably would have made me consider suicide. The author berates you for expecting anything from your spouse, you are just supposed to accept what ever is given you. She even guilt trips you by saying things like you wouldn't leave your spouse if they had cancer would you. In my opinion AS is much more like an alcoholic than a cancer patient. Yes it is a condition that can literally destroy your life but is 100% workable the AS person is capable of learning and of improving, where as the cancer patient has little control over the condition. The author of this book tells you to expect nothing and you wont be disappointed. If you lower your standards enough you will be happy, according to her. And its fine to just let the AS person run right over you. My husband and I have the understanding that AS or NT if either of us wants to be in a relationship then we each need to participate in the relationship. I do what I can to understand the way he processes and he does what he can to understand the NT world. This book, if I followed its advice, would just send me into a deep depression and turn me into an AS myself just to survive. It offers lots of ways for the NT to accept the way things are, but very little if any ways to improve the AS situation. This approach does nothing to improve the life of the AS person.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Abysmal, dismal, and lacking in authority or credibility. 19 Jan. 2012
By countsheep - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Since my AS partner's diagnosis I have been reading as much as I can about AS. This is the worst piece of garbage I've seen. It consistently harps at the reader, blames, and assumes they are co-dependent, lacking in identity or boundaries, demanding, controlling, etc. I think that only a person meeting those descriptions would actually follow this book's advice to eliminate all expectations and (yes, this is a quote) "don't expect empathy or caring", yet you're supposed to give it at every turn. It's condescending and riddled with insulting assumptions about the reader, and about those diagnosed with AS. She sells both woefully short.

The book is heavily laden with inconsistencies and absurdities--we are at once expected to realize that Aspies can't pick up on social, bodily or emotional cues from others (which is often true), yet we're also told that they can "sense our tension and anxiety" and desire to control them when we ask them to do anything or when we expect anything from them. Seriously?? Could it be that the it's the Aspie's own anxiety and tension they're experiencing? Aspies don't like conflict and don't like people trying to control them--wow. What an insight, Ms. Weston. Newsflash: NO ONE likes that. NTs don't like it, either.

This book's advice in a nutshell: Walk on eggshells for the rest of your life, expect nothing. You probably don't deserve whatever you were expecting, anyway, you nag.

But beyond that, I think this author has no credibility whatsoever because, if you're going to write pretend quotes from "anonymous" partners of aspies, you should be more careful not to reference yourself and your own book right there in the quote. This book is a first edition, so did "anonymous" travel through time to read the book, then travel back in order to offer her quote about it? Seriously, who does this idiot think she's fooling? And were her editors just totally asleep on the job? They should have spotted this outright fraud. Additionally, most of the quotes resemble her writing style and verbiage, and advance her point of view wholesale.

I am not only the partner of an Aspie, but a mental health professional. It's difficult for me to imagine anyone who would benefit from this book--whether aspie or NT. This book does a grave disservice to both, and this publishing house has done a grave disservice by taking it on. Look elsewhere for real help.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Unhelpful 7 Oct. 2013
By crysta - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book generally unhelpful. On one hand, she advises keeping your "energy cup" full, but on the other hand she basically says that the NT partner is going to have to do all the heavy lifting in the relationship. I really have no idea how to keep a "calm, routine environment" with 4 children in a small house. She did not give any ideas. Also, you can't get all your emotional needs met with friends and family- for one, family often lives far away, and friends come and go and are usually absorbed in their own problems. Support groups are also impossible to find in some locations.
I really came away from this book with an enormous amount of anger and hopelessness. I bought it with the intention of trying to figure out how to foster a sense of togetherness and companionship that is missing in our relationship, and she basically says not to bother, that the NT partner has to emotionally distance themselves from the relationship. I'm not sure how to be in love with someone and still distance yourself..? Isn't the point of a relationship to connect to someone on a deep level? If I were willing to hold him at arms length, I wouldn't bother getting a book advertising itself as a how-to book on connecting. The relationship she's describing is not a partnership- it's caretaking. She's basically his nurse, not his partner.
I don't know about you, but I'm not OK with being in a relationship that is so one-sided that one person is doing everything while the other sits on the sidelines. And my relationship with my husband isn't like that, or I wouldn't still be with him, and I certainly wouldn't have had children with him.
Despite its general unhelpfulness, there were flashes of insight that did really spark some insight or ideas. But I wouldn't recommend this book unless you are willing to sacrifice your whole life to keep a one-sided relationship afloat.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
GREAT PRACTICAL HELP 16 Aug. 2012
By April - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband of forty two years was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome four years ago and since then I have read a lot of books on the subject. I found Louise Weston's book , " Connecting With Your Asperger Partner: Negotiating the Maze of Intimacy", just at the right time as we were moving after twenty three years into a newly built home with the high stress level rising because my husband needed unexpected surgery and would be housebound. I immediately implemented Louise Weston's advise, suggestions and techniques, which helped tremendously. Even though it was hard initially to accept the premise of this book which is to adjust my own behavior, I quickly understood that I can either make life harder for myself or easier and since I am still in the marrige, I decided to help myself.

"Staying one step ahead of my Asperger husband" was a something that I was attempting, but did not understand the concept until I read it in this book, allowing me to be consciously aware of my efforts. Frustrations with organizing our life, especially the move was softened by her explanation that I am the "executive director" in this marriage.
" Walking away from arguments" is something I should have done for fourty years instead of getting exhausted and sick. Now I try to keep my "energy cup" half full and shorten recovery time from conflict. My interpretation of "having no expectations so as not to have disappointments" is people with Asperget syndrome can never dramatically change so do not expect different results only to be continually frustrated. In no way does Louise Weston suggest to accept abuse or lack of boundaries.

I recommend this book to anyone involved in an Asperger relationship that wants to improve their situation. It is a handbook to reread and refer to as needed.
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