Twenty-nine years into a 30 year marriage, a light bulb went off and Mona discovered that she’d been in a neurodiverse relationship and didn't know it!! Throughout her marriage, she and her husband had been searching for ways to address the differences and challenges they were experiencing. How could two people love each other so much, yet have so many differences that created ongoing challenges? Differences in communication styles, emotional reciprocity, social needs, and processing and thinking created a cycle of unintentional hurt and misunderstandings. Mona and her husband had visited many therapists, but unfortunately, none of them understood Neurodiverse Love relationships.
A trained social worker with three degrees in the field, Mona had seen the ins and outs of many a relationship during her career, but never had she taken this kind of a look at her own. On top of that, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) hadn’t been part of the picture when she’d earned her BSW and MSW degrees in the1980's and her Ph.D. in 2001.
In 2017, she started to do here own research. Prompted by a conversation with her friend Olga (co-host of Season 1 of the podcast), that turned up similarities between Olga’s relationship and her own marriage. Mona turned to books, articles and videos to find any information she could get her hands on.
Any relationship has its ups and downs, but in a marriage where it had felt for many years like they’d been speaking two different languages, the arrows were all starting to point in one direction. After quite a bit of pushback, Mona’s ex agreed to begin the process to get professionally assessed for ASD. The conclusion? “Probably, but so what?.” Assessing adults is tough—it comes after a lifetime of social and emotional experiences that can impact anyone’s personality.
So what difference did it make? Well, in Mona’s marriage, not much. An official divorce was finalized in May of 2018, but that didn’t mean that Mona’s years of research had been for naught.
Throughout her career as a social worker, Mona had spent years developing, leading and implementing programs and services to help children, adults, and families. It was time to shift gears and use her 30+ years of experience in social work, to address another issue of importance-Neurodiverse Love relationships. Mona's passion for helping others led her to create the “Neurodiverse Love” community. Her mission is to partner with others to help share information and resources that will increase understanding for couples and individuals in neurodiverse relationships.
Mona hopes that through the power and connectivity of social media and the "Neurodiverse Love" podcast that she, her co-hosts and guests will be able to bring lived experiences, information and tools to neurodiverse couples throughout the world, to increase understanding of the strengths and differences that can help each partner thrive individually and as a couple.
Thank you for being a part of the Neurodiverse Love community!