How can I know if there has been no diagnosis?
Well, although each person is unique, three main areas of difficulty are taken as characteristic of people on the autism spectrum (also called neurodiverse):
difficulties in social interaction: for instance, not understanding how to take turns in a conversation, the unspoken rules in a specific setting, difficulty understanding how another person may be feeling.
difficulties in social communication: for instance, taking words literally, failing to understand poetry or sarcasm.
difficulties in social imagination: for instance, struggling to imagine how a conversation may continue or to imagine different ways to do things that have become a routine
Autism doesn't develop overnight. Even though neurodiverse adults may have been undignosed most of their lives, some traits or signs must have been there throughout their lives.
Autistic people tend to suffer an incredible amount of anxiety, some may also be over- or under-sensitive to sensory perceptions (for example, somebody may be very sensitive to smells or tactile sensations, but not be as sensitive as neurotypicals to taste). Many display a fair degree of attention to detail and a keen desire to learn about a specific topic (their 'special interest'). These may be great assets and develop into careers. Many display a special kind of rigidity of thought, which sometimes is related to black and white thinking and in some cases may be related to a tendency to go back to the first thing they decided or learned about that, so it is common to notice that under stress a person on the spectrum will revert to the behavioural patterns that are typical of their parents or families of origin.
Fulfilling neurotypical/neurodiverse relationships are possible
I know many neurotypical/neurodiverse couples and my heart goes to all those who suffer. Understanding autism can go a long way towards reducing or eliminating the suffering. If you yourself are on the spectrum, you may find your partner too unpredictable or irritating in many ways, but neurotypicals also follow certain patterns that can help you understand them better.
"Seek first to understand, then to be
understood." — Stephen R. Covey
I know it may be difficult to believe that understanding your partner better can get you out of suffering if you are at your wits end right now, so we can chat about specific challenges in your relationship and try to get to the root of the issue.
Let's be realistic, whether reurodiversity is a factor in a relationship or not, some relationships are not healthy. My role as a professional counsellor is not to judge anybody, but to lead you back to your own wisdom and support you along your journey so that you make informed decisions. I would really like to listen to your personal circumstances in strict confidentiality. Are you ready for your free Zoom consultation?