Judith Orloff, Ph.D., a psychologist and author of the book Emotional Freedom, posted this blog piece with some tips on how to regroup if you are an “emotional empath” (her term) and get overwhelmed in a partnership. This “emotional empath” phenomenon seems to overlap SPD in some ways and I suspect these tips would work well for adults with sensory processing disorder. All of us need to get away from sensory stimulation at times, but if you’re very sensitive–with a hypersensitive nervous system, or a hypersensitive emotional response–I can see how you would need these types of accommodations to handle living with a spouse or partner.
Many of us parents of kids with sensory processing disorder have sensory processing issues as well. My husband can tell you if my clothes are at all damp (let’s say we left the windows open in the car, it rained, and I realized too late that the seat was wet) I am an irritable wreck until I get on some dry clothes. Knowing more about SPD makes him more tolerant of my sensory needs, and me more tolerant of him (do NOT use artificial air fresheners around his nose! just do not even think it!).
How about you? Do your sensory issues interfere with your interactions with your spouse? Are the two of you more understanding of sensitivities now that you have a child with SPD?