Mixed typical and atypical partners – understanding each other

Diversity by Bill Haddock
Diversity by Bill Haddock

The term mixed marriage carries with it a lot of negative connotations due to a horrendous history of how people in mixed marriages have been treated by their own and the other party’s own.

For some reason people have confused the marriage of people of dissimilar color with marriage between two different races. As if there are any of those around today. Today people are a mix of various genetic backgrounds, some of which are not completely homo sapiens. Yet all people are all part of that blend. So all we generally mean when we talk about mixed marriages is that two persons with different skin tones get married. That seems to get people to throw all sorts of hissy fits – fits that are completely inexplicable to me. I could understand it if a human married their dog, but skin tone. Come ooooonnnnn! Give me a break.

Jonny og Lise Lotte i HekkveienI’m in a type of mixed marriage that might get some to throw a hissy fit. We happen to be of different neurological make-up. I am neurodivergent, or as the neurotypical love to say, autistic, abnormal, disordered, syndromed, and so on.  My husband is neurotypical, or as the experts would claim – normal (or perhaps I should say as normal as one could expect a Norwegian to ever be).

Together we have worked to accept the other person as he/she is. For me that has meant overcoming my black and white thinking and moving towards an understand that people are usually of the gray kind when it comes to just about every area of life. Myself included. That last bit has perhaps been the most difficult part. On my husband’s part accepting who I am has meant putting up with god-awful rhyming and melody-making, repeating of words (echolalia) and other types of stimming. He has also come to accept that I speak loudly, not because I mean to but because I have no control. Being touched and hugged and put through all sorts of physical stuff in public probably hasn’t been as difficult, but I imagine embarrassing at times. Embarrassing events would also include some of the things I say and do.

Lise Lotte og Jonny i Per-Magnars bryllupAll of those things are difficult enough. But for both of us the hardest part has probably been handling the emotions of the other party. Discerning emotions across neurology is a work in progress. We are much better at it, but still work at understanding what is going on. As both of us are introverted people, communicating our emotions to the other person has generally been in the form of behavior and incomprehensible body-language rather than direct speech. Dumb, I know. But alas! We seem to be stuck with it.

25 years down the road of this interesting and puzzling experience of marriage our feelings for each other seem to have deepened. I was never “in-love” with my husband but I really wanted to be married to him. Now I interpret what I feel for him to be LOVE, and my husband says he feels loved by me. Would I choose the same husband again? In an instant. He is the best thing that has happened to me in my life, and I hope I continue to feel the same as time slogs its inevitable way towards death.


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