CJ and I have been married 10 years this October, and although it didn’t occur to us that he was autistic until our seventh year of marriage — there have always been certain ways about him that I just loved and especially appreciated, even before the diagnosis. Turns out — these things that I love most about him might be his most “autistic traits.”
1. His ability to fix anything.
You have no idea how much you appreciate being married to someone who can fix stuff until you break something and they’re not around to help! CJ can fix anything, seriously. The amount of times stuff has broken and I’ve been able to rely on him to fix it is countless. I’m talking toasters, toys, kettles, car lights, toilets, hammocks — the list goes on. Also, theres something really sexy about a man who can get stuff fixed. His ability to just reconstruct something that has been deconstructed never ceases to amaze me.
2. The way he can adapt to any social situation.
My husband knows exactly how to behave in any social situation he is placed in. And even though he may not always enjoy social occasions overly — he knows the decorum, and he pulls it off flawlessly. Which is more than I could say for myself! It would no doubt do me a world of good to take a leaf out of his book and cease my bull-in-a-china-shop ways, but I don’t see that happening too soon. Because he is so awesome socially, he makes a great host at parties, too.
3. His attention to detail.
CJ is incredibly visually perceptive, which means he is amazing at picking up discrepancies that other people might otherwise miss (myself for example). For us, this roughly translates in real life to him being an amazing baker and pizza chef. Me? I’m more of a “chuck it all together and hope it tastes OK/it tastes good but doesn’t really look like it’s supposed to” kind of baker. But CJ? He can follow recipes to an absolute T and recreate cakes, pizzas, desserts and pies to such a detailed level that they resemble the photo in the recipe book, and probably taste better. This means that, of course, birthday cakes for our four daughters are his domain — naturally. And although my pizzas may taste good — they have nothing on CJ’s.
4. He does not suffer fools.
I absolutely love being around people who just tell it how it is for them and speak their truth. And that is definitely how CJ is. He does not have the time or inclination to pander to ignorance. How this translates to us is that I know where I stand with him. He is to the point. I know I push his buttons and broaden his comfort zones continually, but I can definitely rely on him to tell me when enough is enough. Being consistent and to the point is definitely a positive personality attribute in my book.
5. He is methodical.
If there is a process that needs to be carried out, CJ will analyze and evaluate the entire scenario in his head, calculate how it needs to be carried out and work out the most effective way to do it — and then do it, flawlessly first go. This is a welcome contrast to my “ah I’ll just jump straight in/oh crap, I’ve messed it up” method. The amount of times I have witnessed him standing beside me shaking his head observing my tactical errors is too many to count. I am grateful that he does let me learn my way (the hard way) even if he gives me a bit of a tease afterwards.
6. He is a complete contrast to me, and he completes me.
Many people may live under the assumption that only people who are alike can get along. I think this is a load of rubbish. CJ and I are different on many levels, but that is what makes us so fantastic together. Because we balance each other out. His strengths are mostly my weaknesses and my strengths are things he struggles with. His interests aren’t the same as mine, but that’s OK because that leaves a lot of room for learning. He teaches me so many things and expands my awareness, and I am sure I do the same for him, in my way. Different does not mean bad. Different simply leaves plenty of room for expansion.
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