I am looking for advice re. problems with my relationship with my husband who has Aspergers.
We have been married for 21 years, and have been aware of the Asperger element of our marriage for 8 years.
We are elderly, and my husband was diagnosed at the age of 65.
We have been through a great deal, and have learned so very much, but recently I have found myself feeling very depressed.
I think it is because I am completely living his life, and am submerged in it. However, I do meet up with friends once a week and attend an art class. Everything else, we do together.
I am wondering how I can ‘extricate’ myself from feeling overwhelmed by his life. He talks incessantly about his interests and most of what we do together is to suit his needs. I am not sure any more of my own.
I am really seeking some guidance and would appreciate any advice from other wives who have encountered this problem.
Thank you for listening,
Can I start by asking how old you both are now?
I’m sure my dad had Asperger’s, he had two subjects of conversation, how he was doing up his house - after 40 years it still wasn’t finished when he died, and his work. He was one of the government’s top defence scientists, a brilliant mathematician who never noticed if he had his jumper on inside out! My husband had a few traits too.
My mum could have written your post, for her it was extra hard as she was disabled. At least you can “escape” now and then.
I’ve seen it written that we only get the life that we are prepared to put up with. He won’t change, probably can’t. If you want something different for your life, then you are going to have to be a bit more determined. You can’t change anyone else, but you can change yourself.
Doing this on your own is going to be difficult. I had counselling for various reasons a few years ago, and it really helped me do more of what I wanted to do and less of what everyone else wanted me to do for them.
I was taught how to side step requests, especially for mum, bored, housebound, wanting me to do all sorts. Whilst I was still doing one thing for her, she would give me another job.
The counsellor told me to say "You asked me to do this, let’s get it finished and then we’ll do that afterwards. No time scales of finished by, started by, just an acknowledgement. I worked as quickly, or as slowly, as I wanted to!
That left mum a range of options, either forget about it altogether, wait until I’d finished, or get someone else to do it. I had effectively controlled the situation, without ever saying “No”. I’ve learned to use this strategy in many other situations too, so now I have more time to do the things I want.
At the moment, I’d redecorating my dining room to use as a new, larger, sewing room. Bliss!
You have just as much right to pursue your hobbies and interests as he does. Do you share housework and cooking???
Hello and welcome to the forums! What are your interests and hobbies? Now is the time to develop them further. Everyone needs me time! Who does the housework currently? Gently insist on him working as part of a team with you on certain tasks. Praise him for a good job afterwards upon completion of the task. Also support him in getting out of the house.
Try typing up a list which can be laminated and printed out as a reminder. For example, get him to do some laundry or ironing under supervision. Has he had a needs assessment or not? A social worker can do this. Call the council to start the process. Make sure to obtain a copy of the report detailing findings once the assessment report has been written. You will need this.
Support him to do his own cooking. Say “you can do this” to boost his confidence. Remain in the background yet only offer help if asked to do so. You need to practice assertiveness if you truly want things to be different. But do not be aggressive. It will only make things worse. Find time to do things away from him. Avoid violence, for a person with autism it is one of the least effective behavior management techniques.