recipes fr cassole(54 Posts)
This is a support thread for people in AS/NT relationships: these are our tentative recipes for success. If you are looking for something else, please look elsewhere.
"The thing that's in my mind currently is that dh is so very critical of the dc, especially ds; gets very cross with them; seems to overlook the fact that they are, in fact, children; and cannot praise them unless he really really makes an effort and under duress from me.
In terms of them not being safe, in our case it is because of forgetting that they are children, not adults; and just switching off and forgetting about them altogether. When they were smaller, that included losing them, me calling out the police to look for them, etc. With illness, just not focussing; being at a loss about how to respond unless specifically instructed by me or a HCP; not grasping the urgency of the situation. And of course being difficult and scary to talk to, so the dc wouldn't dare say "my leg/arm/head hurts. A lot. Please can I see a doctor."
"Age-inappropriate expectations" is a useful phrase.
Dh is also quite ferociously envious of ds. And competitive towards him.
"I don't think we've discussed much the issue of tumbledown house purchasing and house renovations which never get done. This also appears to be a marker for AS/NT relationships.
Yet another thing to add to the list of stuff that links us.
I am depressingly heartened by the realisation that the shabby house thing is a marker. I've always thought I was just lacking in the domestic goddess department. Other people (present company excepted) always seem to live somewhere that looks complete, don't they? We, on the other hand, appear to be living in student accommodation."
"Someone suggested to me that my dh's perfectionism versus inability to finish a task, may be because it is easier for him to live with a job still "to do" than live with one finished but imperfect??"
"I am tired. Mostly, tired of trying."
I can recognize that feeling. The one where you just want to let go of everything, to even stop trying to make things better because it just doesn't work.
I chose to embrace it. I stopped trying. Because his happiness is his responsibility just as my happiness is my responsibility.
I also stopped trying to have a life as 'I imagined it would be', stopped expectations, stopped trying to make it all right all on my own. Because I couldn't. I had tried to do it all for years and clearly it wasn't working.
The results haven't been as bad as you would expect. Perhaps also because I have stopped treating DP as a child that needed to be managed if that makes sense?
Maybe, not doing, and not trying, could give you the rest you need and start afresh (in a different way)
AFTER 35 years of marriage, a husband and wife came for counselling. When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a passionate, painful tirade listing every problem theyd ever had in the years they had been married. On and on and on she went: neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry list of the crap shed endured.
Finally, after allowing her to speak for a sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and after asking the wife to stand, he embraced and kissed her long and passionately as her husband watched with a raised eyebrow. The woman shut up and quietly sat down like she was in a daze.
The therapist turned to the husband and said, This is what your wife needs at least three times a week. Can you manage that?
The husband replied, Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I go fishing.
Buddhism isn't about getting rid of emotions (you can't) but about recognizing when they are there, being able to take a step back,looking at them and not acting on them.
You can even chose to use the opposite emotions to counterbalance your feeling (so chose to be compassionate when you are extremely angry towards someone).
I can see how meditation can be very helpful for people with AS, esp to calm to angry outbursts.
But the recognizing your emotions might be a bit of a challenge....
What I really like about their philosophy though is that each person is responsible for their own feelings and should be tending to them. I does help when you stop making the other person responsible about your feelings (I am angry because you have done this etc...)
And to continue:
"Buddhists are trying to get to a place where they don't have to act on them or express them"
That sounds about right to me.
For me, this is about recognizing the emotions before it has overcome me because it allows me to sometimes stop in my tracks, allows me to breathe through it, look at the emotions and let it go.
I use that when I am getting annoyed with DP quite a bit.
Also sometimes with the dcs, even though I find it harder, but my reactions after that is always softer than it would have been otherwise.
my dh said something very revealing yesterday when we were talking about his rellies coming over for lunch tomorrow, he said that it was "just another performance" for him, and he said that all these social do's are the same for him in that he has to put on this special effort to play the part. I had never heard him describe it in these terms before nor had I ever seen it in this way before. He is put out of his comfort zone, has to put on a performance and afterwards he feels wrung out by it all. Another little glimpse into the mind of an AS.
I said to him I needed help, and he looked at me in amazement and said "well, what needs to be done?" I gave him a list of jobs, but he kept coming back to me to question every detail!
I don't discuss AS with my DP. Nor do I point out things that he does that are typically AS - I find it just makes things worse because DP then starts thinking 'I am weird' or worse 'she thinks I am weird' and then all communication channels just dissolve.
What is working is turning in such a way that it is appealing to his sense of duty, the one that says he is supposed to be a good dad and to do his best for his dc.
I don't know if this would help but I brought up the subject of AS with my DH by showing him a list of AS traits (without any AS title initially) and asking him if they sounded like him. I then said there was an 'interesting' quiz about these characteristics and that I'd scored 5 (which I think got him curious).... and then I linked to the AQ test via the Cambridge Uni page (i.e. seems more Expert).
aq.server8.org/ AQ test
My DH has been officially diagnosed, but he still will not do any research for himself, just relies on me finding things out for him.
I have to do all the research and he will sometimes listen, especially if it is positive advice, anything he deems as too negative he thinks does not apply to him.
As for gaps in general knowledge, a big yes, yes here. Again, my DH is very good at numbers and when he plays his complicated computer games he always remembers where items etc are, but things I think of as general knowledge that most reasonably intelligent people would know is completely off his radar.
Yes to dhs retreating from celebrations. I no longer expect dh to help but it would be nice if he could refrain from the monotonous refrain 'I don't know why you are bothering' and 'Can't dd do it herself'. Grrrrrr. I ENJOY party preparations but it would be so much nicer with some encouragement rather than the constant condemnation.
What you say about children disguised as adults rings very true but they are also mature adults, to me it feels like another instance of severe lopsidedness eg being fantastically skilled at using technology and unable to adjust back pack handles.
DP says when he is stressed he becomes much more Autistic. I often have to remind myself it's hurting him more than me but can still be very very tough to cope with. I use analogies in my head like if someone was having an epileptic fit and lashed out and broke your nose it wouldn't be in any way intentional but you'd still have a broken nose!
I can't think of the right term but you know the thing about people with Aspergers not telling you things because they assume you already know (which certainly leads to a lot of difficult situations round here).
What I need to remember is this. DP is a good, kind, mature person and has this specific impairment so if he is acting in a bad, unkind, immature way a) there is probably some vital fact I don't know and b) he may be feeling really awful inside but due to lack of speaking body language it's not showing on his face.
What shit we have to put up with, and sorry that everything is so hard for all of us.
There can be snowdrops under the gloom though and it is possible to train your aspie.
I know now that it is not my fault, but for the sake of my children, it is my responsibility to do something about it. Whereas I used to feel guilty and not know why due to confusion and bewilderment, I now know that for the most part I have behaved "well". My dc unfortunately, still feel the "bewildered guilt" and it is my job to teach/show/reassure them otherwise.
I did this before I realised that DH was aspie, before I knew anything about AS, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. And you need to accept that everyone reverts to type, under stress, AS or not. Quite a lot was the stuff my parents had taught me, and yes, sometimes I do feel like s mother or a carer. I prefer to think of the latter as if DH were an amputee I would care and make allowances, so I have to in this case. But this is something I have only realised recently. Before the last few years I thought I was being condescending, manipulative and deceitful rather than providing the security and framework he needs.
I taught him to behave acceptably with people he didnt know. If people are coming to our house, I give him defined jobs and timing to help prepare. I make him open the door and take coats, and told him what to say, hello, smile, take coat, he doesn't need to start a conversation then, they may do it. He goes round with the drink a few times and can then disappear.
If we are going to a dinner, and it is not his friends, I brief him, remind him who they are, interests, likely topics of conversation they could raise, elephant traps, and we discuss what topics we could raise. Useful with the rellies too.
When we used to go to balls, I taught him how to invite people to dance and what to say and then have a get out clause.
I have taught him to assume responsibility for getting the washing done and dried, filling up the car, emptying the dishwasher, occasionally when prompted changing sheets, checking we have enough bread, milk and eggs in the house and the dog is fed.
I make lists of household tasks to be done, chuncked up into smaller bits.
What you have to understand is that spontaneity and intuition does not come into this. They are indeed frightening for him. So the more you can make this predictable and achievable, the easier it is.
And if you can associate some of this with a 1950's style demarcation, the easier it is too. I fought against that for many years but have now accepted it makes him happier.
So it looks more like a traditional marriage from the outside.
I organised couple counselling last year and the counsellor didn't take my frustration seriously at all. She asked DH if he thought he had Aspergers and predictably he said no. So she then told me the reason I was finding things hard to cope with was because I was a control freak who wouldn't let poor DH step up and take some responsibility. I was so desperate for him to do that but he's so unreliable over hugely important things that I just take it all on. She just didn't get it. So I stopped going and we broke up.
I would say that it is the parenting that is almost solely responsible for my marital stress with dh. Any other disagreement can often be disguised as something other but usually comes down to differing opinions or approaches on how to deal with the dc. Dh regularly accuses me of undermining his parenting/not giving him space to parent/not giving his parenting time to take effect, but I seriously find his parenting is unreasonable (not just different to how I might do it but actually off the rails, draconian, Victorian, bullying, treating the dc as though they were put here to be our servants). I observe a lot of his parenting as being about him, his feelings, and what he needs doing for his satisfaction, not what the dc may need or want. And discipline again is often a means to vent his anger, disappointment, impatience and anxiety brought about by their behaviour, becoming a punishment rather than an authoratative instruction to guide and restrain their behaviour in the future..
Not at all sure if it's a recipe for success, but here's info about a new novel:
"As we are sharing links again, have a look at the Musings of an Aspie blog.
In a couple of posts she is sharing how she made her marriage work (with her DH of course). I have found a lot of things we have been talking about in the past. One interesting one was the need for going running/swimming/cycling at least one hour each day. DP is a bit like this. Much better after some exercise and totally incapable of staying at home for a whole day."
"1. The only thing you can be certain of in life is that nothing is certain
2. The only thing that is constant is change.
We're works in progress and whether some of us appear to be making more progress than others depends entirely on where we're standing when we assess our own passage through life."
"How do you build your own life when living with a partner with aspergers? Dh doesn't have friends and doesn't need anyone really outside of us and therefore seems to be completely incapable of seeing why I need them. I am quite a sociable person and although I make a point of going out for a drink with a friend every so often, anything else such as making arrangements on a weekend are usually met with a row or unpleasant comments which make me wonder whether it's really worth the bother. I also find that if I don't stand up to my dh when he is unreasonable it almost seems to get worse. I am really confused as to how to deal with him I think. He has only recently spoken about how he is clearly autistic or aspergers. He hates to talk about it and seems to be of the mindset that this is what he is, and why should he change?"
"It's his casual remarks and comments that I find so caustic and critical - he always seems to be criticising me etc. Or am I just being overly sensitive? I have mentioned it to him so often and he just doesnt 'get' it. He can't see that it's a problem and why I find it so hurtful."
"Just imagine, in other partnerships couples probably use the weekend to soothe and comfort each other, to recharge batteries, to recover from the Sturm und Drang of the week. We have the Sturm und Drang at the weekends and need the week to recover."
"With the snide and critical comments I really try to take a deep breath and remind myself that this is just him trying to understand a situation and to get a grip on it, position himself as it were, and not about me personally. It takes great patience though doesn't it, to be that restrained and what can it be doing to our souls long term to be repressing our emotions like that?
With the angry/critical outbursts (usually about dc and my lack of discipline with them and my failing parenting) being patient and understanding is much harder because these outbursts are more personal and consciously aimed at me. And dh seems to need reminding about previous solutions to these issues that we will have discussed and agreed upon.
Trying to avoid or manage stressful situations so dh doesn't get so Aspie is also hard at times because we are not omnipotent are we? And we can't have influence over environments outside of our reach (dh's work for instance or the content of some email he receives that riles him). More often nowadays, I simply walk away after offering initial sympathy or words of support."
"Just finished a novel called "The Language of Others" by Clare Morrall (a Booker shortlister a few years ago with "Astonishing Splashes of Colour"). Found it very interesting because it's about Aspergers, so look out for it!
In the novel above, there is a NT character who "gets" the AS thing and believes in the ability for Aspies to learn, or to be "trained" as we say here! However, this requires the cooperation of the AS individual and a certain amount of awareness and acceptance of the condition and I am not sure that dh is that person. Still, small steps."
"What has helped a lot (and is still helping) is learning about AS in adults and remembering about it in our daily interactions. To remember that when DP has this 'blank stare' it doesn't mean he is cold and doesn't care. It means he is frightened and doesn't know what to say. That when I am talking about going to see X <<Insert teacher, SENCO, CAMHS>> and I can feel he doesn't really want to be involved, it's because this would be a really difficult thing for him to do (New people he doesn't know, the need to explain things right, to put your point across, fear and anxiety again). So I just go on my own, come back with the outcome and we can 'talk' about what we are going to do next.
And also to know that he will NOT be able to support me emotionally. With 'teaching' he now knows he is doing some good by just listening to me, even if he can't say anything constructive/to solve the problem. So I get the emotional support from other people. Just as I would need to ask from support from others if he was, let's say, wheelchair bound."
"The one reason I am seeking an assessment for dc is because I think that the knowledge of AS/ASD is essential.
Without the awareness, it is very difficult for the person to change or to realize that perhaps it's their reactions that are at odds with what people expect.
What I have seen with DP: the changes as he is getting his head round the idea that he has AS and that he needs to take that into account are major."
"I find dh much more difficult if I am taking to friend on phone or whatever. He seems to think that because immediate family is enough for him it should be enough for me. When I challenge him on this he says he doesn't care and I can do what I like but there is a definite change in atmosphere if I am talking to someone else or am arranging to socialise without him, despite the fact that he doesn't want to socialise with anyone!"
"Life can actually become very much easier for aspies once they are able to specialise more - it is the broadness of life as children/young teens that can be very challenging for them.
Some time ago I expressed my concerns on here about ds eventually marrying and having a family of his own. Once again I have been reassured that I am probably worrying unnecessarily. His own awareness of ASD, and the greater awareness in society generally of ASD, makes it far less likely that he and any future partner will struggle with the same difficulties that dh and I have had."
"Dh is bright enough to learn that if he gives me 5 consecutive minutes of conversation a day that I will be happier. He can learn that I thrive on attention, that I like it when he does something nice for me and that it thrills me."
"Abusers don't stop emotional abuse on their own and it is up to the victims and those around them to help stop the emotional abuse. Although a victim may feel "beaten up" by the emotional abuser and may feel like they are nothing without him or her, the victim still can still stand up to the abuser and assert their own power.
Stopping the emotional abuse takes courage. Use these techniques when stopping emotional abuse:
Regain control of the situation by acting confident and looking the abuser in the eye.
Speak in a calm, clear voice and state a reasonable expectation such as, "Stop teasing me. I want you to treat me with dignity and respect."
Act out of rationality, with responses that will help the situation, and not out of emotion.
Practice being more assertive in other situations, so you can be more assertive when being emotionally abused."
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