"Just keep walking..."
I recently heard of a divorce rate statistic of 80% for Asperger marriages, but am unsure of the source. Geesh, that's high! Again, I don't know how accurate that is, but I want to blog a bit about Asperger Syndrome and how Magnum fits in that general scheme of things.
I'm no professional, but from what I've learned about Asperger's, I would say Magnum has medium-to-mild Aspergers as I've seen and heard of others who have more troubles than he does.
There are two types of Aspies. There are those who are quiet and seem shy and introverted. Then there are those who are loud and overly talkative who often say things that are socially inappropriate. Magnum is certainly in the first group, and I don't think his "shyness" comes across as extreme.
There are those with Aspergers who struggle so much to "fit in", and they never really settle into a comfortable job or profession. On the flip side, there are those who develop careers based on their circumscribed interests. Magnum's personality and interests combine nicely for an engineer.
So although I noticed early on that he struggled a bit socially, Magnum's struggles don't overwhelm him as they do others with Asperger's. He's also developed appropriate coping skills, and his differences don't immediately send people to point to the autism spectrum.
While I wouldn't recommend marrying an Aspie man to everyone, let me count the ways of the positives for Mag and me - all of which result from his having Asperger's
- Magnum is very intelligent. It sometimes surprises me how much he knows about geography, world history, different structures of government, literature... So much we joke about it sometimes (why would anyone need to know THAT? Ever??). Then of course there's the stuff he needs to know as an engineer. The math, the physics.
- He's a conscientious, focused worker and good at what he does. He's well liked by his managers and co-workers. I've never worried about his "marketability" or his lack of work ethic should we decide to just pull up stakes and move to somewhere - something we've actually done. Twice.
He's (brutally) honest. His "lying" mainly consists of the coping I mentioned earlier.
- He's got a way with animals. When we first started dating, we were in college and living in apartments with no pets. The first time we visited his mom, I noticed the strong bond between Magnum and the family dog. It actually surprised me, considering his struggles to relate to other people. The pooches sense it too as I've seen dogs choose him from a group of people as the one to go to for a cuddle.
- He's a bit of a perfectionist, going back to that conscientious worker thing. When he sets his mind to do something, he wants it done right and pays attention to all of the details. And I'm not just talking about paid employment here *wink*wink*nudge*nudge* (that's all I will say about THAT...).
And besides, who's to say that I'm so "normal"?
Add it all up and it looks pretty good. At least on paper. Eighty percent? What for...?
... yeah about that...