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Help. DH with asperger's

(36 Posts)
Forsythia Tue 12-Jul-11 14:50:25

That's it really. Any advice ?

ForEverAgain Mon 16-Jul-12 11:03:52

I think you have forgotten a few things though.
3- whether the partner can actually cope with the autistic traits
4- whether the autistic person is actually aware of the autistic traits and if it is something they accept.

I actually do think that when people are diagnosed as children ,the scope for point 2 to happen is bigger.
When they are diagnosed as adults (or undiagnosed), they have developed their own ways of coping and these aren't always supporting point 2.

<<Skip the fact that it is extremely difficult to get diagnosed as an adult thanks to funding cuts>>
<<Also skip the fact that some adults with AS will NOT want to hear about AS or a diagnosis. They will also refuse to accept that they are 'different' on some levels. This doesn't happen as much when the diagnosis has been done as a child>>
<<Finally skip the last fact that quite a lot adults nowadays would never had had a diagnosis of AS as a child as it wasn't existing as a condition when they were kids>>

Kladdkaka Mon 16-Jul-12 12:02:45

Why is the onus on the person with AS to change who they are to suit the person without a disability? Would this expectation be considered acceptable for other disabilities? To my black and white AS brain, you either love and accept your partner for who they are or leave them to find someone who does.

ommmward Mon 16-Jul-12 12:39:36

I think it needs to be a two-way street, Kladkaka, but actually, more of the NT person adjusting. Because the NT partner has the societal norms as back up to everything they do - they can be sitting there thinking "but I'm married. I know what married is supposed to be. I'm a round peg. This is where the round hole should be. Oh, no, wait my OH is in fact making the hole be square".

It shouldn't be a question of trying to make that hole round, nor of the NT partner squeezing and squashing themselves into a square shape. It's a question of working together to find the hole and peg combination that works, and that takes patience, creativity, out-of-the-box thinking on both sides, willingness to look extremely unconventional.

I think it's possible to have a great AS/NT marriage, but I think it is a lot harder for the NT partner, because for it to work, the NT person is going to have to let go of normal=conventional=as a rule-of-thumb probably right.

I'm not sure labels are important, particularly (although I think it can be a lifesaver for an NT person in an AS/NT relationship - because it is a first intimation for the NT partner that the challenges the partnership faces aren't going to be solved by the Cosmo advice columns, yk?).

Berris Mon 16-Jul-12 14:06:40

I wrote what I thought was quite a good reply, then MN decided I wasn't logged in... Wish I could remember exactly what I said, because it was better than what I've actually written now! Apologies for that!

I think that ommmward makes a lot of valid points. It is difficult for a person with AS to adapt and change, because their brain is wired up differently. What a NT person sees as "normal" is sometimes completely alien to an AS person. It is a question of adaptability. Consider trying to control yourself, your behaviour, how you think, how you view the world for the majority of your time. That's hard work, and that's what can be expected of an AS person at times. If the AS person is controlling various aspects for the majority of the time, they will need some downtime and a release. A NT person would need something similar too.

A NT person is going to be more adaptable. It can make sense to a NT person, where it simply does not to an AS person.

I will not pretend that there are not certain aspects of AS behaviour that are very hard work at times, but I do think for a NT/AS relationship to work, the adaptability and an adjustment in expectation and thinking from the NT person is needed. More so than on the AS side, because the AS side cannot see what the NT thinks as 'normal' (whatever 'normal' is!). I think that is why my AS Traits/AS relationship works - I see things in a similar way to my DP.

LadyInDisguise Mon 16-Jul-12 14:34:50

Agree with both posters above.

I would like to point out that it doesn't mean only the NT partner should change or make an effort.
Like any relation, there is a need for both partners to adjust and adapt (up to their own limits as to what is acceptable and their own abilities).

This actually true for any disability not just AS. A disability is no excuse to hurt other people feelings. Nor Is It a reason not to change, again within the limits of the disability of course.

MoelFammau Mon 19-Nov-12 18:08:26

I'm struggling so much with my Aspergers husband. I love him, I miss him when he's not there... but I'm so depressed about how things are. I can't ask him to change, I know that. I've changed though to accommodate (stopped socialising, stopped cooking (it was non-recipe and he hated that), I've shouldered all the practicalities of having a flat, running a (joint) business, raising a child... I've stopped hiking, climbing and riding because he's not interested yet he doesn't like me going alone... etc etc).

I'm a shadow of my old self. I grew up with a mother with serious mental issues and was a carer for her since age 9. I feel I've been forced into that position again, when I really want emotional support, fun and laughter.

I don't really want to get into an NT / AS debate. I just need some support because it's so so isolating. No-one understands, they just laugh and say 'oh, aren't all men like that?'. Trivialises it.

I was a virgin til i met him. He has sex in a very mechanical way. I've never climaxed ever. I've asked him to do a bit of foreplay to help but he's not interested, doesn't get the point... I've stopped sleeping with him and he's sad about that but I never got anything out of it. I didn't feel loved or close or aroused... I felt nothing but aching sadness that I was just something to fill a need, not someone with needs of my own.

He's never bought me a bunch of flowers despite me saying so often that I'd love it if he did. He's never planned a romantic meal out or weekend away, or even an non-romantic one. I did them in the early days and now I don't bother.

Of course I can't change him. But I'm screaming inside. I can't shout at hom for something he can't help, but I cry at the unfairness. His life is obsessively following his one interest - vintage film equipment. We both work in the film industry so it was hidden just how dominating that interest was until much later. He literally has 9 tons of obsolete film equipment. I know this because I help him move it whenever we move house (we freelance so have moved at least once a year). I'm destitute because we have to rent a huge warehouse to store it in... he will never throw any of it away. And buys more all the time.

Sorry this is long. I'm just so so desperate for advice, for something to change... I feel resentful... And I know its not his fault.

neverputasockinatoaster Mon 19-Nov-12 21:43:22

Oh MoelFammau.

I couldn't let that cry from the heart go unanswered. You sound so very unhappy and I just want to reach through the screen and hug you.

I currently don't know what to say but I am thinking of an answer. All I can say is that it is actually possible to be Aspie and be a bit of an arse. You shouldn't have to give up yourself like that. Will ponder and get back with thoughts later. maybe tomorrow mind as I have an observation tomorrow and I have dreadful heartburn and pmt so i need to go to bed once the bread has finished in the bread maker!

Screaminabdabs Mon 19-Nov-12 21:51:03

Moel, I've sent you a PM. smile

MoelFammau Tue 20-Nov-12 01:40:18

Thank you both. I'm unfortunately now ranting all over MNet. How embarrassing.

KittenCamile Tue 20-Nov-12 14:03:55

My DP is an Aspie, he doesn't like to talk about it as others have said, he hates that it could be seen as an excuse for certain behaviour.

He is the most loving, caring and affectionate person I have ever met. He is VERY tactile (which I love!) And sooo funny. The amazing thing (and something I find increadably attractive) is that he doesn't think about things like I do, he looks at things from an angle I hadn't thought about. That's a truly intresting thing.

The only thing I really struggle with is communicating during a 'row', something simple and not really important can esculate really quickly because DP feels like I can't hear him but sometimes I just don't understand what he is trying to say. Does anyone else have that? It upsets both of us and honestly I don't know how to make that part work.

He is socialble but quite intense (I love watching him in social situations though, sometimes through my fingers!) He can be thoughtful but he does get it 'wrong' quite often, he definatly has emotions and he does have empathy but his empathy is more interlectual rather than truly from the heart.

I have read some of his traits on this thread but really not that many. I think the aspie spectrum is so wide that no two people really show the same traits.

95% of what makes DP special to me is his aspie nature its only when we row that we get disconnected. That I would truly love to work on. I love that my DP isn't like everyone else but as you can probably tell from this post, I'm dyslexic so that may help!

Softywife Wed 05-Dec-12 16:29:53

Hi KittenCamile, I can't off any advice but I'm beginning to wonder if DH has asperger's.

The only thing I really struggle with is communicating during a 'row', something simple and not really important can esculate really quickly because DP feels like I can't hear him but sometimes I just don't understand what he is trying to say. Does anyone else have that?

Same here. DH thinks I'm not listening properly when I sometimes just don't understand him. I have to be patient and calmly tell him the bit that I DO understand and ask him to repeat the other bit.

DH is such a clever guy intellectually but doesn't handle people well (says inappropriate things, short fuse, very blunt, doesn't get tact, not good at eye contact, etc).

I hope you get some advice from MNetters with more experience in this.

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