Navigating Emotion: My Journey as an Emotionally Unavailable Partner with ASD


They say love is an emotional rollercoaster, but it often felt like a never-ending maze with no clear exit for me. I’m writing today to share my journey as an emotionally unavailable partner and how I’ve understood that this may be a symptom of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

A World of Limited Emotions:
For as long as I can remember, emotions were like elusive shadows, slipping through my grasp. I struggled to identify my feelings, let alone express them to my partner. It’s not that I didn’t care; it’s just that the language of emotions seemed foreign to me.

The Struggle to Connect:
In a relationship, emotional connection is the glue that holds it all together. Yet, I often stood on the sidelines, watching as my partner experienced a full spectrum of emotions while I struggled to find the right words or gestures. I knew this was hurting us both, but I felt emotionally disconnected.

Recognizing the ASD Connection:
It was only when I began researching ASD that I started to see the pieces of the puzzle falling into place. The difficulties I faced in recognizing and expressing emotions, the sensory sensitivities, and the rigid thought patterns—all these traits aligned with ASD. It was a revelation and offered me a path toward understanding myself and my role in our relationship.

Taking Steps Towards Emotional Growth:
Recognizing my emotional limitations was the first step towards growth. Here’s what I’ve been doing to understand better and express my emotions:

  1. Self-Acceptance: I’ve learned that it’s okay to be different. Embracing my ASD traits allowed me to accept myself, quirks and all.
  2. Therapy: Seeking professional help was crucial. I found a therapist experienced in ASD to guide me through recognizing and processing emotions.
  3. Communication: I started communicating more openly with my partner about my struggles. We agreed to be patient with each other and allow me to express myself in my own way.
  4. Mindfulness and Self-Awareness: I’ve been practicing mindfulness techniques to become more in tune with my emotions and body, helping me identify and manage them.
  5. Empathy: I’ve been working on better understanding my partner’s emotions, even when I struggle with my own. This has helped bridge the emotional gap in our relationship.

A Work in Progress:
It’s important to acknowledge that I’m still a work in progress. There are days when my emotions remain elusive, and expressing them feels like deciphering a foreign language. But I’ve understood that it’s okay to take small steps and celebrate the little victories.

Recognizing my emotional unavailability as a possible symptom of ASD was a turning point in my journey. While it doesn’t make the path any less challenging, it has given me hope and a sense of direction. If you are in a similar situation, know you’re not alone. Seek support, embrace your uniqueness, and take one step at a time. You might discover that the maze of emotions becomes a bit easier to navigate with patience, understanding, and self-acceptance.

To learn more about what steps to take if you suspect that you or your partner may have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), please click on the following link to our next article: What to Do If You Suspect You or Your Partner Has ASD. Understanding and addressing ASD can be a transformative journey for your relationship, and this article will provide you with valuable insights and guidance.

Take the first step towards a healthier, more fulfilling marriage today! If you’re experiencing challenges in your relationship and suspect that an assessment could provide clarity and guidance, don’t hesitate. Visit to schedule your assessment now. Invest in your relationship, nurture your love, and embark on a journey toward a Sizzling Hot Marriage. Your future together can be brighter, starting with this simple step. Don’t wait; take action today!

See the full list of posts on ASD in marriage.

Picture of Joe Follette, Jr., M.Div., M.S., LMFT

Joe Follette, Jr., M.Div., M.S., LMFT

Joe Follette, Jr., a licensed marriage and family therapist with over 25 years of experience, founded Lifestyle Therapy & Coaching in Huntsville, Alabama. He combines his background as a former pastor with his therapeutic expertise to help adults achieve fulfilling marriages. He works with individuals, couples, families, and more. He offers virtual therapy with programs and courses designed to treat specific challnges. Pick up a copy of his free book, "Don't Give Up On Love," to become a better you in your relationships. Joe is known for his positivity, warm personality, and commitment to helping clients live their best lives. Book a free 15-minute Clarity Call with Joe to begin your journey to healing and growth.

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