Detrimental effects on Neurotypical Wives


Cambridge Journals published 2012 a Study of Life Satisfaction of Neurotypical (NT) Women living in Intimate Relationship with an adult Asperger’s syndrome Partner. The study is conducted by Jennifer S. Bostock Ling, Steven R. Cumming and Anita Bundy.   

The study shows: 
Female NT spouses /partners experience a decline in mental and physical health, wellbeing and quality of life, which they attribute to the symptom expression of their partner’s Asperger’s Syndrome (AS).

NT spouses report these symptoms:

  • Feelings of loneliness
  • Confusion
  • Frustration
  • Isolation
  • An experience of regularly ‘going insane’ (being ‘driven crazy’)
  • Impaired mood (e.g. depression and anxiety)
  • Problems with sexual intimacy and sexual activity
  • Other medical complaints

NT-women report that the NT-AS intimate relationship is marred by the unwillingness or inability of their AS-partner:

to engage in shared activities
to provide appropriate emotional support
to communicate to reciprocate
to be spontaneous or flexible in their beliefs and behaviour
to learn from their mistakes

Misunderstandings in communication are commonplace and empathy is often perceived by the NT partner as non-existent. Problematic social lives, as well as economic problems resulting from financial mismanagement by their AS spouses are also reported. 

Jennifer S. Bostock-Ling, Steven R. Cumming and Anita Bundy (2012). Life Satisfaction of Neurotypical Women in Intimate Relationship with an Asperger’s Syndrome Partner: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Journal of Relationships Research, 3, pp 95-105. doi:10.1017/jrr.2012.9.
Link to the abstract:



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