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No offense to anyone with aspergers, but talk about a freaking motormouth about shit I don't care about! Maybe if they had aspergers and were obsessed with bicycles, indie films, and traveling I'd be all in.
No, I don't think this is from the other side. But if they had had any sense they would have written YOU for advice.
And I was going to say old straight guys are so gullible, and easily swayed by a pretty, daft young thing, but then I thought of Calvin Klein...never mind.
I'm not saying women are on average less intelligent.. It just seems like the really bright women I know either marry smart guys or stay single, while the guys seem to look for something else in a partner.
On top of that, the chances are far, far greater that this dude is just an oblivious nerd rather than having Asbergers. I don't know what the demographic breakdown is on oblivious nerds, but I'm sure they are a far greater proportion of the population than people with Asbergers.
Since any responsible doctor wouldn't dream of making a diagnosis based on one of these letters, I propose that the medically ignorant and those who are largely uninformed about the individual situations (that includes all of us) stop making Asbergers the go-to excuse for every person who isn't 100% sunshiny, outgoing and perfectly adjusted. It's getting really old and makes you sound like an idiot, IMO.
My advice to the guy is to stick with the wife for the mutual affection and awesome sex, and to cultivate a group of close friends. There's no particularly good reason that married couple have to do all of the same activities, spend every waking minute together, etc. (in fact, that always strikes me as a highly dysfunctional set-up). Do the things with the wife in which they have a shared interest (working out? arts or crafts? discussing topics in which they DO share interests? she must be into SOMETHING other than The Bachelor, right?), and hang out with his friends, not with the wife, for his political or cultural or economic or technological or whatever conversations. The most stable marriages I know have a degree of private space and independence for each person; the persons involved don't expect their partners to be their everythings in bed nor out.
Or, if that's not a possibility, he needs to decide whether the intellectual mis-match is a price of admission he's willing to pay; if it is, suck it up, if not, get divorced. If he actually doesn't care for the wife or straight-up can't stand to be around her, as Prudence seems to be reading, then he should do the kind thing and let her go so she can find someone who DOES actually like her, as opposed to just liking to fuck her.
The upshot is that many people who are part of the neurodiverse community don't respond to non-verbal communications well (this is my "OMG-so-bored face") but can learn how to function in the context of a relationship as long as everybody knows what's going on and is making a reasonable effort.
It's also reasonable, when evidence supports, to suggest stress, depression, or bipolar disorder, etc. as considerations/rule-outs for behavioral problems. They are, in the medical lingo, differentials. If they are possible causes of the described situation, it's not wrong to acknowledge mental health as a potential contributing factor in these situations.
If Aspergers was brought up sparingly and thoughtfully that would be one thing, but it's almost like it's become a badge of honor for columnists (I'm talking about Prudie here) and commenters to go straight to Asbergers like it's some kind of mark about how knowledgeable they are by dispensing this information. It just comes off as incredibly shallow and boring to me.
But if you want to see one BS Asperger "diagnosis" after another, all you have to do is read through Prudie's archives. There was a period where it was hard to go a single column without one, which ended after she was called on it by her readers.
Maybe CS leads to economics because they're both dismal sciences. I dunno.
I would agree that it's foolish for a commenter to be certain they have diagnosed someone via letter. But fetishistically insisting on a ban on mentioning psychological diagnoses is equally foolish. Disorders do have warning signs and telltale hints that someone may have them. If a letter writer said her boyfriend had lost all joy in life, was barely eating and staying in bed 14 hours a day, many commenters would conclude he's suffering from depression & should seek psychological help. For that matter, if we heard someone was suffering from fever, nausea, headache and malaise, we'd conclude they might have the flu. This, even though we are "not doctors" and "aren't getting all the facts." Yes, internet commenters might be wrong. Since comments sections don't have the power to stop someone from seeing a real doctor (and for that matter, might encourage them to do so), I don't think that's a big deal.
I've never seen him in anything but hotpants...
And I never "fetishistically insisted" (WTF does that even mean?) on a ban of discussing psychological disorders . I said we need a moratorium on people jumping to the Asbergers conclusion anytime someone even slightly socially awkward is described. The Dear Prudence column got much more readable once the answer to every other letter stopped being "He probably has Asbergers, go see a doctor."
The fact of the matter is that Asbergers affects a vanishingly small proportion of the population. To constantly propose it as the answer when symptoms point to nothing more than normal social awkwardness both cheapens the diagnosis of those with the syndrome and makes people in forums such as this seem intellectually lazy (while thinking they're Clara fucking Barton or something).
Re: marrying hot and stupid. I guess a lot of men do this, but I'll never understand it. In my day I dated hot and crazy, hot and mean, hot and manipulative, hot and still "technically" married to the husband she neglected to mention until after we'd been sleeping together for a month...but I could never even stand date 1 with hot and stupid. But I guess I'm somewhat exceptional there...
"To his wife he was very little otherwise indebted, than as her ignorance and folly had contributed to his amusement. This is not the sort of happiness which a man would in general wish to owe to his wife; but where other powers of entertainment are wanting, the true philosopher will derive benefit from such as are given."
Scotsmen: Keeping kids in therapy since 1329.
As for Asperger's, I think the behaviour of the guy in the letter to Dan screams it (I either have Asperger's myself or something so similar that it makes no difference), while there's nothing about the guy in the letter to Prudence that suggests it to me.
I'm a fairly smart academic-type guy married to a non-academic woman. I don't think she's dumb, but her school performance was significantly weaker than mine, and she is not interested in the philosophy/politics/economics/linguistics that I'm interested in. What do we talk about? We gossip. We spend hours dissecting our respective families and friends, and snarkily congratulating each other on being so much more together than everyone around us. Occasionally we even manage to laugh at our own smugness.
I think when it comes to understanding people, no-one is any smarter than anyone else. I'm certainly no smarter in this respect than Ann. So we capitalise on what we have in common.