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Partners with Aspergers - anyone else?(6 Posts)
I have namechanged to post this. I know there have been topics about similar stuff in the past but couldn't find anything recent.
My DH has just been diagnosed with Aspergers. Ever since we got together more than a decade ago there have been things about him that I had felt were unusual or difficult but had always put down to his family background etc. However the combination of us having our DC and him having a stressful job significantly worsened everything to the point that someone suggested to us that we look into Aspergers. Lo and behold, he has been diagnosed.
I've been reading loads of threads about people with AS partners on here and so much of it is so familiar. DH is high functioning but the main areas in which he struggles are communication, emotions and conflict. Him getting angry or us having an argument has always resulted in meltdown for him, where he literally can't speak until he has processed it all, or when he does speak he comes across as incredibly nasty and cold.
The meltdowns, while they tend to only happen once or twice a year, have had such an emotionally exhausting impact on me. Last year, the big one he did have meant he barely spoke to me for more than a month. I had no idea how to resolve the situation and felt paralysed as to what to do. I have terrible anxiety related to his moods and one of the things I am trying to come to terms with (and figure out how to deal with) is the affect all these years of difficult situations before he was diagnosed have had on my mental health and emotional wellbeing. I have really been able to identify with all I've read on older threads on here about feeling on edge all the time, feeling unsupported emotionally, low self-esteem, feeling as if I am needy and pathetic for wanting emotional support from someone (because that's how he has made me feel, unintentionally or not), feeling as if I 'don't have a voice' because he sees any discussion about things that have happened as uber-critical and an 'attack' on him, and cannot resolve stuff. I feel as if over the years I have shut down emotionally a little bit more with every meltdown.
Basically, if anyone has any recommendations re: resources, things that might help, that would be great. I think I am going to self-refer to local mental health services because I am recognising that I really need some help in that way. Just knowing that there are other people around who understand is a start. As he has only just been diagnosed we have not really done much talking about how we will move forward.
I was reading these threads after another argument with DH. The thought that he may have Aspergers tendencies has been on my mind for a while, but never discussed let alone diagnosed. Unfortunately I can't help with your question as I have no experience of this, but wanted to say that your post struck a chord and DH ticks a lot of those boxes.
Do you mind if I ask how you went about getting a diagnosis (and even how you broached the subject with your DH)? What boards do people use on mumsnet for adults with these sorts of difficulties? Sorry to hijack your post
Have a look at www.different-together.co.uk
It's a very informed and supportive website for people in a relationship with someone who has Aspergers (with or without diagnosis).
Thank you! I have registered on DT although not posted yet as have been really busy.
littlecupcake - I broached the subject after the big meltdown last year and tried to explain it as sensitively as possible - a friend of mine has suggested we look into it and I showed him an online questionnaire that he could do. Afterwards, he made an appointment with his GP who referred him to our local adult autism assessment service. It took a few months for him to get an appointment.
Please try not to confuse him having aspergers with him being an arse
My ex and my dd both have aspergers -sometimes behaviour is a meltdown or anxiety -sometimes it's bad behaviour
It's difficult seperating the two sometimes but you need to to protect your own mental health
You should not need to feel like you are walking on eggshells within your relationship
Thanks wrungout, I will do some reading about it before I bring it up with DH. I think there is a strong possibility that he may have Aspergers but even if that's the case I don't know how long I can carry on like this - living in eggshells described it perfectly. I have hit rock bottom and told him this but he doesn't engage in conversations with me about how I feel. He's great with the practical stuff - gets kids dressed and gives them breakfast every day, is good with housework etc etc but it's the lack of empathy and emotion that's really getting me down, he never says he loves me or the DC, is quick to lose his temper, is obsessive about washing and ironing (some might consider that a blessing, I know!) see everything as black and white, doesn't like changes to plans, I could go on all day. Although reading my list some might say it's abusive behaviour.. I guess it's a fine line.
Thanks for the link to the Different Together website I'll have a look.
Wishing you well with your journey now that you've got a diagnosis.
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