Couple Plans All-Autism Wedding to Show Love & Romance Matter to Everyone

There's a common misconception that people with autism aren't interested in love and romance. Well, it couldn't be more wrong, and one couple is out to prove that with an all-autism wedding. We spoke with engaged couple Anita Lesko and Abraham Talmage about their love story and the message they want to get out to everyone. 

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Anita and Abraham are planning to celebrate their union September 26 in San Diego at Love and Autism: A Conference With Heart, founded by consultant and counselor Dr. Jenny Palmiotto (through the link you can donate to support the wedding). All the participants in the wedding -- from the ring bearer, the flower girls, the ushers, the DJ, a harpist, even the officiant -- all are on the spectrum.

The two are by no means the first couple with autism to marry. However, this all-autism wedding is the first of its kind, and for many of the attendees it will also be the first wedding they've ever attended. Anita and Abraham want to give hope to others on the spectrum (and their families) and show that love, relationships, and marriage are possible.

"We're ready to jump out of our skin!" Anita told us, when we asked how she and Abraham were feeling as their wedding date approaches.

How Anita and Abraham Met

The couple met at an Asperger's support meeting, where they developed a friendship over the course of a year. But it was when Abraham completed a computer science cyber security course and Anita took him out to a celebration dinner that their relationship turned romantic.

Dating came with significant hurdles, but not because they're on the spectrum. Abraham's mother did not want her son to date anyone. She forbade him from seeing Anita and even forced him to write her a letter saying he never wanted to see her again.

"I knew it was not from him," Anita said. "Fortunately she's not too tech savvy, so she didn't know we'd started texting each other." Through a network of friends the two started seeing each other in secret.

As their relationship evolved they became more and more attached to each other. "Every moment we were apart we hated it and we just counted the seconds until we could be together," Anita recalls.

Finally, Abraham wrote his mother a letter telling her he was in love, that he wanted to be with Anita, and that he was leaving. He walked out of his family home and has been with Anita ever since.

How They Show Their Love for Each Other

And it's working. In fact, Anita and Abraham have the kind of relationship any of us would envy. Here's what she said when I asked how they show their love for each other. 

We communicate at a very deep level. We express our feelings and we can talk for hours. We do stuff for each other every day. If I have to stay longer at work Abraham take it upon himself to do the laundry and cleaning, and I'll come home to a spotless house and he'll serve me dinner. We tell each other we love each other endless times a day.

There's more. These two cuddle for about two hours a day. They're constantly touching each other and holding hands. Anita says she especially loves it when Abraham takes her face in his hands and kisses her ... oh you get the idea. Anita and Abraham are intensely affectionate with each other. 

Anita and Abraham's Love Advice for Us All 

According to this couple, the key to a successful relationship is empathy and communication -- persistent communication. It's what makes their relationship so resilient, Anita says.

If you don't understand how the other person is feeling it's very easy for a relationship to fall apart. Sometimes it's easier to walk away from someone than to deal with something head-on. I think that's something that sets us apart from others. Some people will have problems and they'll just walk away. It may be harder to talk through issues but in the end you come out a stronger and better couple because you did that. So that's how we see the strength of our relationship compared to that of many typical people. 

What a wise perspective! How many of us have encountered a conflict with a spouse or partner and gotten lost in the negativity, questioning whether you should even be together? Maybe it's because Anita and Abraham have overcome so many other challenges in life that they don't see problems as ends, but as something to work through together -- and ultimately something that brings them closer together.

We are so excited about their upcoming wedding. There is so much to celebrate here.

 

Image via Anita Lesko and Abraham Talmage 

 

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