I’ve been married for 26 years to a man I always knew was different. The lack of attention and understanding I initially ‘put up with’ due to my own recent bereavement and low self esteem - someone who just got on with it seemed to give me the control I needed; and I didn’t deserve anyone being real nice to me cos I was fat and ugly.
Not a great place to start a relationship!
But we’ve worked at things. I have single parented our two children while he put in the finance. I always wondered if I’d have the courage to leave once the kids were financially independent.
Since then I have studied psychology and psychotherapy and discovered Asperger’s which explains a lot. My husband alternates between a diagnosis being a relief and continued frustration that I am emotionally drained by something he can’t help.
We have been ticking along ok. But last night had an enormous row. We were supposed to be watching a film in the same room for valentine’s. We’d established that it did t make sense to spend a lot of money on food and a film when we had it at home but that I would like some time together so I cooked a special dinner and we had it in front of a film together. Only the film was rubbish and he said that if it was no good he’d better go and watch the football in the other room.
There are only so many adaptions a spouse can make. I am resigned to the fact that I will never feel cherished, and I appreciate his ability to read pages of figures for hours on end and thus bring in enough income that I don’t have to worry.
We have begun to build up a few friendships with my holding him and covering for his misunderstanding and people usually think it’s quirky.
But it is very very hard to think that I have to spend the rest of my life adapting to him. It’s like parenting. I’m very good at it and am so highly compassionate in life that I go way beyond what a lot of people would put up with. But it’s so very tiring not to be able to be natural.
How do I find a more even keel? How do I fill my void of needing to be cherished? Is it, in the end, just too hard?
I’d love to hear of anyone else’s experiences. The thousand paper cuts that other family and friends can’t see and which I cover for out of embarrassment and fear…does anyone else have a similar experience to share? X
Do you think it’s time to stop covering up. There is a lot that is know re: Asperger’s now. It’s like other medical issues. It’s OK to talk about it. It’s not about making constant excuses about behaviours. It’s about understanding what is currently happening.
My husband has a physical disability so more easily identifiable. So there little for me to have to say. When seeing/meeting people and he uses a powered wheelchair. So his physical disability so more easily identifiable
I have to say I never watch TV with my husband of 46 years. We have totally different ideas on what to watch. And neither of us is really romantic.
I think there are a lot of carers who feel. There role has changed from a wife to a carer.
I guess you have heard of …
What you are feeling is 100% normally!
As you have studied psychology and psychotherapy. You may already know quite a lot you could share on this forum.
I do hope others on the forum can offer some insightfulness.
Hi Su and welcome to the forum.
I understand that you want your husband to be more appreciative and loving towards you. It can be very difficult trying to change someone’s behaviour, BUT you can change yours. From reading your post it sounds like you socialise a lot as a couple. Do you sometimes go out with friends WITHOUT hubby? If he is sometimes left home alone then your absence might make him appreciate you more.
Hi, I believe I am at the crossroads. I have 4 children (boy 12, girl 8, boy 7, boy 6) and I am pretty sure they are all on the spectrum with 2 being diagnosed. (My 2nd to youngest was the first to be diagnosed with Autism we decided to have all of the last 3 in a row, all a year apart) My wife has a brother and sister on the spectrum. For the first 8 years of marriage everything was great(in hindsight there were signs). It started with small things like not disciplining the oldest boy. Then everything pretty much blew up my 8 year old still has 3 baby bottles of milk a day and is never without a pacifier. They are all on iPad 24/7. They only eat junk food and she is their waitress. The yell milk she instantly gets up and serves them. If she is sleeping and I am with the kids if I don’t serve them as quickly as she does she angrily gets up and either beats me to the punch filling their order, sits with us tiredly, or reprimands me. They all eat different things at different times, they don’t have bed times and there is so much more I will get into later maybe… 2 years ago I tried to institute change and made the mistake of asking her father for help. He confronted her and it kicked off a downward spiraling rift in our marriage. When my 2nd youngest was diagnosed they asked us for DNA samples for research. She admittedly refused. If we are getting along she will sometimes refer to her issues but if I ever say it she quickly denies it. I moved out at her request for 3 months 2 years ago. She filed for divorce but I was able to reconcile with her. Ever since I have moved back in she has been distant and cold(well more then usual) the longest we have remained on good terms is 3 months. I guess the best way to describe her treatment of me is gas lightning behavior. I can’t raise the tone of my voice, speak anxiously, or not explain my body language. She is a nurse with a bachelors degree and intends to continue on to be a nurse practitioner. Her birthday just passed and I went all out and 3 weeks later we are back on the brink of divorce. I would rather accommodate her in anyway than to be without my children on a daily basis. Cliche story of my heart says stay but my mind says go. I do love my wife regardless of everything that has transpired. I am looking for advice on how to coexist and repair the scars she is holding onto. She filed for divorce and still rails because my lawyer recommended a counter claim. This is a facade the details will make you shake your head.
My fear is someday I will become senile or ill and my wife will push me out on the ice like the Eskimos did with their elderly. I feel our situations are similar. If we didn’t have kids I would have moved on.
My husband has Asperger syndrome and I have found the forum ‘Different Together’ really helpful with respect to understanding a little more about neurotypical/neurodiverse relationships and in terms of gaining extra support.
Although we have been married for 22 years, we have not lived together for five years. The main reason that we do not live together relates to issues caused by my husband’s behaviour towards my children and me. Although some aspects of the behaviour can be understood within the context of autism, the behaviour itself, which was unacceptable and resulted in intervention for external agencies, was not the result of autism.
So, whilst I think it is really helpful to use our knowledge of autism to help us to understand certain factors or triggers and so on, it is equally important to avoid diagnostic overshadowing. For example, although my husband has great difficulty tolerating noise and messiness, or dealing with the stresses and spontaneous changes that come from caring for children who themselves have additional needs, he is also an intelligent adult who can and could choose to behave in a different way to the way he behaved.
I know this is probably not what this thread is about, and I apologise for derailing it slightly, but I know many people with autism (including my eldest son) and I could never imagine them behaving in a way that was cruel. So, I think it is really important not to confuse behaviours related to autism with behaviours that are abusive.