WHY your SUSPECTED Autistic Partner Won't Go To Counseling
“I think my partner is autistic, but he (or she) is refusing to go to counseling or coaching. How do I get him to go?”
This is a question that I've been asked over and over by neurotypical partners who have developed suspicions that their spouse or partner is autistic (neurodiverse).
If you are the resistant partner... I get you!
This video is for you.
In this video I explain why partners who are suspected to be autistic don't want to come to counseling or coaching… and it's a very legitimate reason.
Many of you in this situation have already been to counseling (often multiple times) and it didn't help. (I've been there, myself.)
Now…those of you who are asking me this question of how to get your partner into coaching… you've realized that autism is probably the KEY. You've researched and read books, watched videos, joined groups, and you've found a coach (ME!) or another specialist to help you....
...and your partner has said "No. I'm not doing it. I'm done with that stuff." 🤯
You want, and NEED your partner to understand how you've been hurt all these years and now you finally have the answer.
You feel in your SOUL that this is how you'll finally get through.
Yet, you're met by a brick wall, which just adds to the hurt.
I know WHY your partner is now digging in their heels to come in for coaching.
Essentially, when a neurotypical partner (which is someone who isn’t autistic) suspects that a spouse or partner is autistic, the problem in the relationship becomes autism.
So, the suspected autistic partner thinks counseling and coaching is going to go something like, “It's been you. You are the source. You are the cause of all the problems."
…and truthfully… it often does, with therapists who don’t understand neurodiverse relationship dynamics and communication.
Neurodiversity is not THE problem in any relationship.
It is absolutely PART of the dynamic, but it is not THE problem. When autism becomes “the reason for all the hurt,” counseling has now become a one-way blaming environment that is in no way safe or conducive to growth and connection for a couple.
That doesn’t work and is not going to get you where you truly want to be in your relationship.
When you come to me, as a couple, to discover if autism is present, I actually assess BOTH of you.
This allows me (and you) to identify how the two of you are different from each other, instead of how one of you is different from the world. I look at what you are each bringing to the relationship and how each of your brains work, how each of your sensory systems function, how each of your personalities have unique quirks, strengths, and weaknesses. Then we also look at your relationship’s health overall, attachment and conflict styles, and what I call “relationship baggage.”
If neurodiversity is present, then we look at how that dynamic is contributing to how you misunderstand each other, but that's a two-way misunderstanding. That doesn't mean that the person who turns out to be neurodiverse has created this problem in your relationship. It just means that you each bring a different way of doing a relationship, of communicating, of interpreting and perceiving than the other. There's been a lot of misunderstanding, and so we look at all of that.
Nobody gets blamed for the problems in the relationship. Nobody gets the moral high ground. Nobody gets to be the one who points the finger. We do not blame one person for the problems in the relationship.
In the beginning, we start with what is happening in your relationship now, how you are interacting and communicating and how to get you to a place where you can hear each other, where you can understand each other.
We cannot talk about the past - about any hurts, any previous issues - until you can actually learn to hear each other and understand each other.
There's no point in trying to have a conversation about all those things that have happened in the past if you don't even understand each other yet. It's like trying to have that conversation in two different languages.
Rehashing the past isn't productive.
Two people speaking different languages who don't understand the other one's language is not a conversation that is worthwhile or productive - but, that's the conversation you've been having all these years. It turns into rehashing over and over again, which is not helpful and not useful, and it leads you to where you are now.
Most of the time, when couples go into counseling, therapists try to facilitate this conversation, but without the understanding that you don't speak each other's language - they just don't know.
If you are the one that is on the receiving end of this… if your partner is saying, "Hey, I think neurodiversity is an issue, and I need you to go to coaching," and if you're still skeptical, my advice to you is do your own research.
Learn more about neurodiversity and take a closer look at what it’s all about from multiple sources. My own YouTube channel has loads of videos.
Discover what you can about the coaches and counselors who claim to be experts and specialists. Get familiar with their resources and published videos or blogs. You need to be comfortable with any coach or therapist before you start working with them!
Book a one-on-one session before you meet with a coach or therapist along with your partner. If that’s me, great, and I look forward to meeting you! If not, that’s okay, too, and I still have a huge video library, and a communication program for you and your partner that will be a perfect supplement to any work you do with another coach.
We’re all in this together with the common goal of bridging the gap between couples who are disconnected - whatever the reasons may be!
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