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Feeling very confused...(8 Posts)
This is very long, sorry!
Have been with dh for 18 years, married for 12 years. We have 3 children between 10 and 4. Things have been up and down for a while, pretty much since the youngest was born really. Mostly it's not been bad enough to break up the family and we've muddled through. More recently though there have been more arguments and Dh has told me last week that he went to see a relate counselor on his own while I was at work. He had planned to keep this a secret and just use it to talk things through with the counselor and try to get suggestions on how to improve things at home but the counsellor strongly advised dh to tell me about it that day and that I should also go see them to talk things through for a session with a view to going together afterwards. I was surprised when dh told me, but I agreed to book a session myself and am going next week. Will be very tricky to go together later though, as both work full time, 3 kids and no babysitters!
DH is quite keen to work things out and for us to be happy I think. He says he loves me and wants to do his best to Make things better.
The problem is, is that I'm very confused and not sure if I do any more.
I've basically come very near the end of my patience levels and for things to work out between us I feel like it's going to be me who has to do all the work, make all the changes and just put up with things more and I'm not sure I have the energy or desire to do that any more :-(
Dh has always always been different. He's got an incredible amount of energy, he wants to try all the things and do all the hobbies and try every food/gadget/game etc. he's also very clever, has a very mathematical mind. He reads huge maths text books for fun. He has lots of positive qualities... He's fun with the kids, will always be the one joining in with crazy games on the trampoline or scooters, he's very generous, very sociable and will talk to anyone about anything, always up for a new challenge or experience.
On the downside... He's very very absent minded, extremely distractable and really forgetful. He's got more like this as he's got older I think too.
I feel like he's often somewhere else in his mind a lot of the time. I can be talking to him and he will answer me with an appropriate answer but he won't be actually listening and will have no recollection of the conversation minutes later. Sometimes I can tell, but often I can't so it's infuriating to have to repeat things all th time and never know if its going in or not. He double books things all the time, including important things that I tell him about. He's late often as he loses track of time. On occasion his distracted ness has led to quite bad things happening. Once one of our children was injured and another time one of the children had a very serious near miss. I have found these very hard to forget/forgive. He does say he's sorry but makes no effort at all to change his behaviour to prevent similar from happening again so I always feel a bit on edge when the kids are with him.
He doesn't notice things out of place or mess at home. He can leave a trail of mess and untidiness behind him and genuinely not notice it.
He forgets things instantly and the times this really bothers me is things like ill tell him I'm talking one of the children to the drs, that I'm worried about x or y and we will get back and he will say 'did you have a nice day, where have you been?' Like its of so little importance he can't even remember things I'm worried about or when our own children are ill.
Our eldest is on the autistic spectrum and the chances are dh is too. I believe he is. Dh believes he is and even the specialists who diagnosed our son hinted at it quite strongly.
We've tried to work around his personality and with a bit of discussion we've come up with ways that should help. Like he now has set jobs that he has complete control of. Like he does all the washing, drying and putting away as a kind of compensation for not noticing the mess he makes and for not being able to tidy up after himself as he goes along.
He baths and put the children to bed each night in return for me not moaning that he sleeps in every single morning (he's a. Night owl, stays up till early hours every night). I get up every single morning with the kids and do all the morning stuff. I haven't had a lie in for years.
It seems like a good swap on paper and he's trying his best to do the right thing, but it just have no patience any more for the forgetfulness and absent minded mess and him being so distracted all the time. We do have good times. We have fun days out, when we are I with friends an d he is engaged and in the moment we have a lovely time but then when we get back home to day to day life that doesn't keep him as captivated he is distracted again and I get snappy and cross and we argue in front of the kids and it's no good again.
We've got a summer holiday booked and I'm looking forward to it. He will be mostly interested in the things we are doing and we will mostly get on ok I think while away.
I sometimes think we would be better off living separately bu still be together and that might work?
Not sure what advice I'm asking for really. Anybody in a similar situation perhaps? If it really is an ASD thing.... Will he ever be different? Will I learn to accept him as he is and accept that he isn't going to change? Should we split up?
Bit nervous about what happens in an individual relate session also....what things I will get asked and what to say :-S
Any words of wisdom please???
I know it's very long but any thoughts would be gratefully accepted
Got the individual counselling session today. Any ideas what it will be like??
I've had an individual relate session before, and ultimately I booked a block of six sessions by myself. But I have to say, my marriage was in a far worse state than yours appears to be. The counselling helped me decide to end the relationship and H and I are now divorced.
It's interesting that your H has already been for a session and he wants to work things out. My ex had no interest in trying counselling and made almost no effort to sort things out, despite saying he loved me and didn't want to split. Si from a personal perspective I would say that your H sounds like a keeper. He is invested in your marriage.
Your session today will consist of very general questions: why are you here, what do you want to achieve from counselling etc. Then if you want to go ahead with a series of sessions you will probably have to go on a waiting list for a few weeks.
I think you should strongly consider going to joint sessions. I don't believe one person alone can save a relationship. And from what you have described I think your marriage is worth the effort of the counselling. Can you ask a neighbour, or pay a babysitter, or use work time?
I think I would want to make sure the counsellor is competent in understanding ASD, if it is possible that your husband might be on the spectrum.
You sound worn out with it all.
I did look into that Liney but found very few ASD suitable counsellors actually exist and none at all near me. I will just have to see how this one goes!
Today has not started well. We have plans to visit DHs family. Dh has snoozed his alarm at least 5 times for nearly an hour. Having finally got up he is cross at me for not reminding him that we are visiting his family. He would have got up straight away had I reminded him apparently (usually when he doesn't get up in the morning it's because it's not 'important' but if he had have remembered what we were doing today it would have been important enough to get up on time for!) I said I'm not prepared to take on the responsibility of getting him up as well as the kids. It's something he has to take responsibility for himself. He already makes us late when we go anywhere as a family. It's bad enough that I have the stress of chivvying him along when it's something to do with my family or plans I am really keen not to be late for let alone to be in charge of persuading him not to be late to his own family things that he has arranged!
I feel a more appropriate attitude from him would have been 'sorry I didn't get up when the alarm went off. I forgot about today's plans! Thanks for getting the kids ready and bags packed'
That would have been more appropriate. Blaming you for his failure to take responsibility for himself is grossly unfair and cruel. If he wants to save your marriage, he needs to take responsibility for himself and step up as a parent. You never having a lie in isn't fair. You doing all the organising work for the children isn't fair. You being responsible for his mess isn't fair.
If he isn't willing to step up and help, you need to think about whether or not you want to continue this relationship. It's no fun being the 'nagging' partner because the other has 0 responsibility. Do you want to live like this?
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