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Our Socially Awkward Marriage: Stories from an Adult Relationship on the Asperger's End of the Autism Spectrum

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Through a series of warm and uplifting stories, Tom and Linda Peters take you into the heart of their socially awkward marriage. Tom had long suspected that there was something wrong with him, but despite his best efforts, he could never figure out what it was. With the help of Linda, a writer and investigator who he would later marry, Tom went looking for answers that wo Through a series of warm and uplifting stories, Tom and Linda Peters take you into the heart of their socially awkward marriage. Tom had long suspected that there was something wrong with him, but despite his best efforts, he could never figure out what it was. With the help of Linda, a writer and investigator who he would later marry, Tom went looking for answers that would explain his quirky way of seeing the world. At the age of 47, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. Raw and personal, this book of essays was first inspired by Tom’s challenges with Asperger’s Syndrome, but the humorous bite-sized stories apply to any kind of interpersonal communication. The simple solutions that Tom and Linda have discovered – while dressing up a phrenology head or removing a wild opossum from the master bath – have the surprising power to help us learn how to feel more respected, heard and understood in all of our relationships. Introduction Remember that weird kid in the back of the classroom who just couldn’t stop talking about astronomy, and would bring up the discovery of Pluto during lessons about the American Civil War? That was me. My name is Tom Peters. I’m a composer and GRAMMY®-nominated classical musician now, and I’ve played music all over the world. I have a wife named Linda, a college-aged son from my first marriage, and eight different types of stringed instruments at home including six ukuleles. In 2011, at the tender age of 47, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. At that time, Asperger’s Syndrome was considered a mild form of autism, characterized by an inability to understand how to interact socially. Those of us with Asperger’s – or Aspies, as a term of endearment – tend to have few facial expressions and are apt to stare blankly at other people. It’s nothing personal; we really can’t help it. Aspies are often accused of being "in their own world" and preoccupied with their own thoughts. We are usually clumsy with uncoordinated movements, are socially awkward, have repetitive routines or rituals, and odd speech and language. Which didn’t exactly make me a chick magnet. Regardless of an Aspie’s age or place in life, relationships are often a challenge. Being unable to understand nonverbal communication or how you relate to the people around you can cause Aspies to blurt out inappropriate remarks and say just plain odd things, usually at exactly the wrong time. But it’s not all bad news. The unusual focus and intensity that goes along with this disorder has helped me to hone my skills as a professional double bass player and later, as a composer of silent film scores. On a personal level, I am honest, dependable and straightforward. I love deeply and always try to do my best. I don’t play mind games. I don’t know how. And now, as a middle-aged adult, I’m in a happy, healthy relationship. My wife, Linda, is a writer who used to work with adults with mental, emotional and developmental disabilities. It was Linda’s idea for me to share some anecdotes about what it felt like to be on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. She thought it might help someone to hear me articulate the feelings involved in some of the unique challenges I face. Around the same time, we also started writing articles together about how we were making communication work so well in our Asperger’s relationship. This book is a collection of some of those articles and blog posts about our lives.


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Through a series of warm and uplifting stories, Tom and Linda Peters take you into the heart of their socially awkward marriage. Tom had long suspected that there was something wrong with him, but despite his best efforts, he could never figure out what it was. With the help of Linda, a writer and investigator who he would later marry, Tom went looking for answers that wo Through a series of warm and uplifting stories, Tom and Linda Peters take you into the heart of their socially awkward marriage. Tom had long suspected that there was something wrong with him, but despite his best efforts, he could never figure out what it was. With the help of Linda, a writer and investigator who he would later marry, Tom went looking for answers that would explain his quirky way of seeing the world. At the age of 47, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. Raw and personal, this book of essays was first inspired by Tom’s challenges with Asperger’s Syndrome, but the humorous bite-sized stories apply to any kind of interpersonal communication. The simple solutions that Tom and Linda have discovered – while dressing up a phrenology head or removing a wild opossum from the master bath – have the surprising power to help us learn how to feel more respected, heard and understood in all of our relationships. Introduction Remember that weird kid in the back of the classroom who just couldn’t stop talking about astronomy, and would bring up the discovery of Pluto during lessons about the American Civil War? That was me. My name is Tom Peters. I’m a composer and GRAMMY®-nominated classical musician now, and I’ve played music all over the world. I have a wife named Linda, a college-aged son from my first marriage, and eight different types of stringed instruments at home including six ukuleles. In 2011, at the tender age of 47, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. At that time, Asperger’s Syndrome was considered a mild form of autism, characterized by an inability to understand how to interact socially. Those of us with Asperger’s – or Aspies, as a term of endearment – tend to have few facial expressions and are apt to stare blankly at other people. It’s nothing personal; we really can’t help it. Aspies are often accused of being "in their own world" and preoccupied with their own thoughts. We are usually clumsy with uncoordinated movements, are socially awkward, have repetitive routines or rituals, and odd speech and language. Which didn’t exactly make me a chick magnet. Regardless of an Aspie’s age or place in life, relationships are often a challenge. Being unable to understand nonverbal communication or how you relate to the people around you can cause Aspies to blurt out inappropriate remarks and say just plain odd things, usually at exactly the wrong time. But it’s not all bad news. The unusual focus and intensity that goes along with this disorder has helped me to hone my skills as a professional double bass player and later, as a composer of silent film scores. On a personal level, I am honest, dependable and straightforward. I love deeply and always try to do my best. I don’t play mind games. I don’t know how. And now, as a middle-aged adult, I’m in a happy, healthy relationship. My wife, Linda, is a writer who used to work with adults with mental, emotional and developmental disabilities. It was Linda’s idea for me to share some anecdotes about what it felt like to be on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. She thought it might help someone to hear me articulate the feelings involved in some of the unique challenges I face. Around the same time, we also started writing articles together about how we were making communication work so well in our Asperger’s relationship. This book is a collection of some of those articles and blog posts about our lives.

30 review for Our Socially Awkward Marriage: Stories from an Adult Relationship on the Asperger's End of the Autism Spectrum

  1. 4 out of 5

    Goth Gone Grey

    Interesting glimpse into an Aspie/NT relationship I'm forever intrigued by psychology and finding out how people work. This is an interesting glimpse into a relationship between an Asperger's husband and neuro-typical wife, told in very short stories that feel like blog posts. While the stories are informative, they were short and somewhat dry no matter which partner was the narrator. Interesting glimpse into an Aspie/NT relationship I'm forever intrigued by psychology and finding out how people work. This is an interesting glimpse into a relationship between an Asperger's husband and neuro-typical wife, told in very short stories that feel like blog posts. While the stories are informative, they were short and somewhat dry no matter which partner was the narrator.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    I just didnt get it But perhaps that's because I'm 10 years in and just now finding out that my husband is aspie. Im glad tom and Linda know how to deal with its effects with ease but its the polar opposite of the state I'm in. Some stories were cute but often times left me wondering where is it going or how does this relate to an NT married to an aspie? Not relatable for me, well, except for where Tom grew up. We both grew up in the SGV. I just didnt get it But perhaps that's because I'm 10 years in and just now finding out that my husband is aspie. Im glad tom and Linda know how to deal with its effects with ease but its the polar opposite of the state I'm in. Some stories were cute but often times left me wondering where is it going or how does this relate to an NT married to an aspie? Not relatable for me, well, except for where Tom grew up. We both grew up in the SGV.

  3. 5 out of 5

    moxieBK

    Our Socially Awkward Marriage: Stories from an Asperger’s Relationship — Tome Peters, Linda Peters (30 chapters) March 4-5, 2018 Please be aware that this is just one viewpoint. Having a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, (diagnosed when he was around 8,) I enjoyed reading this ebook. It was quick read, with humor throughout and situations that are somewhat accurate for Aspies. For example: it’s true: My Aspie does not play mind games. He honestly does not know how to. And he is furiously loyal, even Our Socially Awkward Marriage: Stories from an Asperger’s Relationship — Tome Peters, Linda Peters (30 chapters) March 4-5, 2018 Please be aware that this is just one viewpoint. Having a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, (diagnosed when he was around 8,) I enjoyed reading this ebook. It was quick read, with humor throughout and situations that are somewhat accurate for Aspies. For example: it’s true: My Aspie does not play mind games. He honestly does not know how to. And he is furiously loyal, even with people who might not have his best interest. But he has a steel mind and really has great, thoughtful answers, once he articulates what he’s thinking. However, some of the situations do not apply to my son at all. The section I am referring to involves “apply neurotypical logic…” One should be hesitant to believe everything in this book is exactly how every Asperger’s Syndrome person reacts, thinks, or talks in any particular situation. Also, most Aspies I know have more than one behavioral/learning issue. I wouldn’t say my son has pure Asperger’s Syndrome; at his school, I didn’t know of any who personally had only Asperger's syndrome. But then, when my son was diagnosed he was in a minority, and teachers honestly didn’t know how to teach and reach him. The chapters in the book are quick snippets of a day in the life of a highly functioning autistic person. If one uses caution when reading this book, it will open up another POV of an Aspie’s life. However, as I proceeded to read the book, I got the feeling that this book is useful whether you’re an Aspie or not. Maybe that’s from being around one all my life. But there are nuggets in here that apply to life in general, not specifically people with Asperger’s Syndrome. Three stars.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Patti

    An unexpected treat! I knew very little about Aspergers, I guess I still do! But while I learned a little about Aspergers, and I learned a whole lot about life! About surviving relationships by accepting each other for who you are. Why doesn’t matter. Just understanding and giving each other the space they need to be themselves. I gleaned some very great thoughts on dealing with STUFF. Making that happen will be a real challenge, but the rationale behind doing it makes sense. Old Sai’s horse.... An unexpected treat! I knew very little about Aspergers, I guess I still do! But while I learned a little about Aspergers, and I learned a whole lot about life! About surviving relationships by accepting each other for who you are. Why doesn’t matter. Just understanding and giving each other the space they need to be themselves. I gleaned some very great thoughts on dealing with STUFF. Making that happen will be a real challenge, but the rationale behind doing it makes sense. Old Sai’s horse.......I really like this story, the idea of accepting life as it comes. Could be good, could be bad! Either way, life is going to happen. And there is really no second guessing why things are what they are. We are Divinely put here on this Earth, and we each have our own purposes in life, and part of that is accepting others as they are. They too were Divinely placed. Thank you for some wonderful life lessons, served with a side of love and humor.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey A. McMillan

    If you could reteach me how to republish my Kindle E-book I would be highly grateful to you, but, also, this: "I am always saddened whenever I meet or hear from someone like you---saddened by your closed mind, and saddened because you are missing out on the greatest hour any person can ever have: the joy of knowing God." I am speaking of God the Father, Jesus his only Son, and the Holy Spirit Holy Ghost. "The Heavens declare the loud of God: the skies proclaim the work of his hands" Psalms 19:1. If you could reteach me how to republish my Kindle E-book I would be highly grateful to you, but, also, this: "I am always saddened whenever I meet or hear from someone like you---saddened by your closed mind, and saddened because you are missing out on the greatest hour any person can ever have: the joy of knowing God." I am speaking of God the Father, Jesus his only Son, and the Holy Spirit Holy Ghost. "The Heavens declare the loud of God: the skies proclaim the work of his hands" Psalms 19:1. "I suspect your problem is that you do not want God in your life. You want to run your own life without any interference from anyone or anything--including God. Are you honestly happy that way? No one can make you believe in God. I can only plead with you to open your mind and heart, and to realize that the path you are on will never satisfy you in a lasting way." Accept Jesus as your only personal Lord and savior of your life and repent of your sins to him.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paige Erin

    A lot of these essays had absolutely nothing (that I could discern) to do with the title of the book. It's possible a lot of this went over my head in some way but how does a short essay on buying a phone with medical apps relate to a Nt/AS relationship? Renaming this to a Random Collection of Thoughts and Short Blog Posts would have gone a long way to increasing the rating, for now I am upset at the inconsistency of product-it is honestly a little ridiculous. Despite my frustration some of the i A lot of these essays had absolutely nothing (that I could discern) to do with the title of the book. It's possible a lot of this went over my head in some way but how does a short essay on buying a phone with medical apps relate to a Nt/AS relationship? Renaming this to a Random Collection of Thoughts and Short Blog Posts would have gone a long way to increasing the rating, for now I am upset at the inconsistency of product-it is honestly a little ridiculous. Despite my frustration some of the insights were interesting, really just one comes to mind clearly but it wasn't worth sitting through this book of random half stories.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ambra

    This book is a compilation of blog posts and random thoughts and events in the life of a couple who recognizes that Autism (or Asperger's) plays a part in their marital relationship. I feel like some people think it is going to be told in narrative form and that is why they may be disappointed with the book. If you know what it is going in, you can read it as such and know that this couple is trying to share experiences in hopes it will resonate with others going through the same thing. If you w This book is a compilation of blog posts and random thoughts and events in the life of a couple who recognizes that Autism (or Asperger's) plays a part in their marital relationship. I feel like some people think it is going to be told in narrative form and that is why they may be disappointed with the book. If you know what it is going in, you can read it as such and know that this couple is trying to share experiences in hopes it will resonate with others going through the same thing. If you work with, live with, or are around people who are on the high functioning end of the Autism spectrum, I have no doubt you will glean some useful advice and/or epiphanies from this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Donald

    Tom and Linda Peters and their Socially Awkward Marriage I am also high-functioning Asperger's, though not as severely autistic as Tom. Therefore I understood everything in the book as completely normal. That's why I gave this book five stars. My favorite episodes were Pug-squeezing, because I had to wear a colostomy bag for a year, and Ghost Cat. As I age, floaters develop in my eyes and I see things just out of my field of vision. Like Tom, I have never seen a ghost mouse as long as I have live Tom and Linda Peters and their Socially Awkward Marriage I am also high-functioning Asperger's, though not as severely autistic as Tom. Therefore I understood everything in the book as completely normal. That's why I gave this book five stars. My favorite episodes were Pug-squeezing, because I had to wear a colostomy bag for a year, and Ghost Cat. As I age, floaters develop in my eyes and I see things just out of my field of vision. Like Tom, I have never seen a ghost mouse as long as I have lived in my house.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christina M. Reitz

    Short and sweet This book contained lots of short essays on life, relationships and Asperger's syndrome. I enjoyed the openness and honesty of the authors. The Peter's came across as sweet earnest people. Honestly, the only reason I gave it four stars instead of five was because it felt incomplete. I wanted more. Maybe that wasn't fair. Sorry. Also, as a side note, they were advertising their for sale books and projects. But what do you expect from a free book, right? Short and sweet This book contained lots of short essays on life, relationships and Asperger's syndrome. I enjoyed the openness and honesty of the authors. The Peter's came across as sweet earnest people. Honestly, the only reason I gave it four stars instead of five was because it felt incomplete. I wanted more. Maybe that wasn't fair. Sorry. Also, as a side note, they were advertising their for sale books and projects. But what do you expect from a free book, right?

  10. 4 out of 5

    T. Rose

    I will read this book over and over... Because it is so meaningful. It is one of those books with unexpected gifts. I learned about Asperger's, but there are many other reasons to read the book. I think it even lowered my blood pressure introducing sweet and loving ways to think about all relationships and our place in the universe.Thank you for this thoughtful book. I appreciate the authors sharing about their lives. I did not want the book to end. To the Peters: Write another book please! 💜 I will read this book over and over... Because it is so meaningful. It is one of those books with unexpected gifts. I learned about Asperger's, but there are many other reasons to read the book. I think it even lowered my blood pressure introducing sweet and loving ways to think about all relationships and our place in the universe.Thank you for this thoughtful book. I appreciate the authors sharing about their lives. I did not want the book to end. To the Peters: Write another book please! 💜

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sunny1

    What an excellent, informative book. The son of a close friend was diagnosed with Asperger's, and many times, I misunderstood his way of responding to "normal" interactions. But I also LOVE his blunt honesty! This beautifully written and enlightening book gave me a much deeper insight into how HE perceives the world around him. "Act like a dog".. what an excellent analogy. Thank you, Tom and Linda! What an excellent, informative book. The son of a close friend was diagnosed with Asperger's, and many times, I misunderstood his way of responding to "normal" interactions. But I also LOVE his blunt honesty! This beautifully written and enlightening book gave me a much deeper insight into how HE perceives the world around him. "Act like a dog".. what an excellent analogy. Thank you, Tom and Linda!

  12. 4 out of 5

    margo jakobi

    I was encouraged The stories are plainly stated and engaging. I could easily see aspects of myself from an outside perspective. It was fascinating to see the positives that they were expressing. And to hope that I could focus on that same possibilities in my life. While there were no "fixes" in the stories it seems to show how they focus in on their strengths instead of ripping apart each other apart for busy being different. I was encouraged The stories are plainly stated and engaging. I could easily see aspects of myself from an outside perspective. It was fascinating to see the positives that they were expressing. And to hope that I could focus on that same possibilities in my life. While there were no "fixes" in the stories it seems to show how they focus in on their strengths instead of ripping apart each other apart for busy being different.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Summer

    This book made me think of things I'd never had to consider. I appreciate thoughtfulness and intention in love. That is true partnership - finding all of the ways to make the bond last and the relationship work. Finding all of the ways to continue on together in life happily and healthily - regardless, in spite of, and because. I enjoyed the shared perspectives of a couple working with the challenges and laughing at the joys of being differently-abled. This book made me think of things I'd never had to consider. I appreciate thoughtfulness and intention in love. That is true partnership - finding all of the ways to make the bond last and the relationship work. Finding all of the ways to continue on together in life happily and healthily - regardless, in spite of, and because. I enjoyed the shared perspectives of a couple working with the challenges and laughing at the joys of being differently-abled.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Ann

    Enjoyed this breezy compilation This compilation of short articles illuminates the challenges of an aspie dealing with neurotypicals and vice versa. It jumps from topic to topic. That feels choppy and was the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars. I recommend it for anyone who has someone with Asperger's in their life. Enjoyed this breezy compilation This compilation of short articles illuminates the challenges of an aspie dealing with neurotypicals and vice versa. It jumps from topic to topic. That feels choppy and was the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars. I recommend it for anyone who has someone with Asperger's in their life.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eric Jewett

    Delivers on its promise This is not a scientific explanation of Asperger’s syndrome and how to “cure” it. It is a series of mostly light-hearted short chats from a couple who are living with it. They both mention coping mechanisms but also how there are times where the Aspie can be a superhero. An enjoyable evening’s read, no matter which side of the relationship you inhabit.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gilbert Fortier

    Loved it! From being an aspie myself, an living with a neurological girlfriend, I did relate completely. Wish I could find these sort of books sooner, my life would have been simplier, not knowing I had the syndrome, thinking for all these years I was weird or crazy. Loved the humour.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth-anne Syme

    Really interesting, fun read This is an easy to read, slice of life book. I found I could easily see some comparisons with my own situation as we navigate this new experience for us. I would have found it useful to have some information about why Tom was diagnosed at 47, did he seek out an assessment himself, did something happen to suggest he was on the spectrum, etc

  18. 4 out of 5

    emily taft

    Love to see the way others work I am ASD and my husband is not. It's interesting to see how another couple works and how people with ASD are so similar but different with how we are. My husband doesn't read but I'm going to get him to read this. It's a great read. Love to see the way others work I am ASD and my husband is not. It's interesting to see how another couple works and how people with ASD are so similar but different with how we are. My husband doesn't read but I'm going to get him to read this. It's a great read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Hardy

    Good quick read Not so much about marriage relationships but definitely a good read for anyone wanting to see how aspire navigate the world and interpersonal communication, with great life advice for neurotypical people. Highly recommended

  20. 4 out of 5

    Candida

    Good insights This book was interesting to read. I have someone in my life that has yet to be diagnosed that displays these symptoms. I could relate to lots of these stories. I recommend it to anyone who wants to have a better understanding of people who are Aspies.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Simple, quick-to read. Short chapters that were blog posts or magazine articles. Interesting insight on a relationship between an aspie and a NT. Recently concluding that I am somewhat on the aspie spectrum, it felt pretty relevant.

  22. 4 out of 5

    andreea molocea

    A good read I found the book to be a nice read, it made me laugh and understand better situations in a neuro-diverse couple. I recommend this book for all couples since I believe it is about love, understanding of the other and respect.

  23. 5 out of 5

    James

    Uplifting I thought I would learn more about asperger's and wasn't let down. It would seem more of us should have this condition...We would learn to say what we mean and follow through. The book was so common sense with warmth and humor. Take time and enjoy! Uplifting I thought I would learn more about asperger's and wasn't let down. It would seem more of us should have this condition...We would learn to say what we mean and follow through. The book was so common sense with warmth and humor. Take time and enjoy!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Van Esch

    Short & Sweet I like that the book was clear on some aspects of living with an Aspie. I would have like to have more on dealing with the daily aspects and difficulties. And the loneliness.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    This is an enlightening little book that approaches the pitfalls of having a relationship with someone on the spectrum with warmth and humor. The lessons of understanding and communication and patience could be successfully applied to every relationship.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Furr

    Adorably heart-warming and laugh out loud funny! Short and simple read that will make you feel good and remember to look at people in a more understanding way. Also - now I am curious to do homework on whales....

  27. 5 out of 5

    Krystal Barnes

    Awesome book The story line is inspiring, what i got for this book is that live conquers give hope to the romantic in me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gabriella Mendoza

    The stories were so great, funny, and entertaining that I finished the book in a couple of hours. Couldn't put it down. The stories were so great, funny, and entertaining that I finished the book in a couple of hours. Couldn't put it down.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kara Scott

    Good read Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Thought provoking, bite-sized stories told with compassion and humor... especially when it comes to communication. Recommended.

  30. 5 out of 5

    SW

    This was all over the place. It could have used a good editor.

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