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Anyone else have an Aspergers DH? How do you cope? Tips please!!!

(999 Posts)
MrsAsp Thu 18-Jun-09 18:58:09

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MrsAsp Thu 18-Jun-09 19:24:48

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makipuppy Thu 18-Jun-09 19:30:21

Oh God I could have written this.

Well, we can and do talk a lot together, but if I try and explain something when I'm sort of feeling my way, he goes nuts and just starts bellowing 'what do you mean that doesn't make any sense'. Very demoralising.

He brilliant at maths and has a phd in a subject that relies on rigour. He reads programming books in bed. For hours. When he's depressed he has to eat the exactly the same type of pretzel and watch a particular comedy from the seventies. At these times I leave him alone.

Any type of formal occasion petrifies him.

He's often quite rude to people without realising it. He has asked two of my friends how much they weigh (shock). He often starts talking before someone has finished what they were saying. He can't cope with much superficiality - if they don't make a point, he's off.

I'm not sure if he needs emotional support - he needs short bursts of emotional input. He'll come for a cuddle, then get up brusquely and walk off.

I love him to bits.

MrsAsp I'm sorry you're not getting the support you need right now. I do know what you mean - I'm 30 weeks pregnant and hyperemotional and clingy.

I'll try and think what our strategy is - the only thing that comes to mind is that we always live somewhere where he can have a nice study with a door that he can shut.

Also, if I need him to explain something emotional, I sometimes say, what percentage of your worry about x is this and what percentage is that. Then he tells me!

Post here, Mrs, for support. It's a rocky old boat we're in (but hey, at least it doesn't leak..)

Mumfun Thu 18-Jun-09 19:39:53

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nbss_w_h?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=aspergers+marr iage

There seem some useful books on Amazon - no direct experience

coppertop Thu 18-Jun-09 19:49:02

My dh has no formal diagnosis but almost certainly has AS.

I think it would help if you could sit down together and go through the things that are driving you both mad and see if there are any compromises that can be made.

If your dh needs language that is straight to the point then you could discuss what it is that you say that he finds so irritating. From that you can see whether it's something that you can realistically change. In our house (also with 2 boys with AS/ASD and a girl who has no AS) where possible we all try to keep language as straightforward as possible to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.

Equally you need to tell your dh what you would like him to do for you. Something like "When I do/say XYZ I need you to do/say this." This could be something as simple as "When I am crying what I would really like you to do is to hug me/make me a cup of tea/leave me alone" or whatever it is that you would like. It sounds almost clinical but it really can help.

For routines, rituals and obsessions we all have the same rule: they're okay but only if they are not disrupting the rest of the family or upsetting anyone. So yes, needing to close ever door in the house and check it 3 times before we go out is fine but you need to start it at least 10 minutes before we leave and not just as we're on our way out the front door. Yes I'm sure you'd love to spend an entire day of our family holiday looking at tropical plants but it's not fair on the rest of us so it's not going to happen.

The key has to be compromise. If you change to help him but he won't do the same for you then the resentment will eat you up. There are a few books out there now about couples in a marriage where one partner has AS. I haven't read them myself but a lot of people find help.

While you are reading those, your dh could also try some research of his own about social niceties, body language etc.

It won't be easy for either of you but if you are both prepared to give it a go you might find strategies that you can adapt for yourselves.

Good luck.

DidEinsteinsMum Thu 18-Jun-09 20:01:26

It is interest cos exdp has just said the same thing to me. It destroyed my relationship because I couldn't handle the fact he was in my emotional space (I don't have an emotional space it is all factual and anything emotional is a nightmare for me).

I didn't want the relationship to end but the more i was pushed emotionally the less i could cope and the further away emotionally i got. And the more of a problem it became.

The good news is that your DH has at least been able to make an emotional commitment as he is married to you. So there is hope. But it is the survival strategies that makkipuppy describes that makes the difference. I too need my space when there is a problem and it is when i don't get that then things get ugly and I meltdown blush

As for me. I am going to watch this thread to get some perspective of how it is to be on the other side of this issue. Maybe it will help me in the future hmm

If you want to ask questions about the other side, will try to answer but it will be factual not emotional wink

MrsAsp Thu 18-Jun-09 20:50:01

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MrsAsp Thu 18-Jun-09 20:54:55

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DidEinsteinsMum Thu 18-Jun-09 21:03:31

There are a lot of mixed feelings of being an adult and suddenly having this bombshell dropped on you. I know i am still suffering the shell shock - it was this weeks revilation. Denial is a lovely thing. I am still trying to construct a letter to give to doc so that i can get sorted. But am tore between wanting to get a strategry and not wanting to discuss it cos i can't handle the discuss it part.

I think you need the patience of a saint but if you have got this far you obviously have normally. Just not when you are emotionally vaunerable.

Keep talking here it is therapuetic - especially if DH can't give you the support you need because he is not wired to. Not his fault but not good for you either. I find the wise mnetters are fantastic if you need someone to hold your hand and listen. Advice is pretty great too.

makipuppy Thu 18-Jun-09 21:15:05

Hello DidEinsteinsMum, I'm very glad you're here and will be very interested to hear your side of things.

The books look good, I shall definitely nose through them, but it's such a funny thing - I don't know if two people are the same.

DP and I get on very well and are close. We both work from home and are constantly together, although we give each other lots of space during the day. Sometimes I make dinner and he brings his book or crossword to the table which annoys me. We have had silent dinners (I am a total chatterbox). I ask him why he needs a book at the table (like hello! you might talk to me!) but he has a pathological fear of boredom. Sometimes to avoid silent dinner syndrome I ask him to explain something to me that I know he'll enjoy. A few days ago he explained infinity in a very nice way (there were ants). It was lovely. Afterwards we talked about other things. This way, he is less likely to become frustrated with a 'normal' topic of conversation. He is actually very funny and wickedly clever at character assassinations. We also play a lot of scrabble.

I have a problem with his very inappropriate remarks to me. He sometimes says things that make me burst into tears. He doesn't see why I am so upset, but he does know I'm upset and pretty soon comes in and puts his arms round me. Sometimes he says sorry, but then I ask him what he is sorry for and he'll say, the things I said. But he doesn't really understand - he just feels guilty because I'm crying. But he does learn things he shouldn't say (it's just there are a lot of them..)

Sunday evening is his time when he doesn't have to explain anything. I leave him completely alone and if he wants to stay up all night eating sweets and watching vintage comedy then he does and I just kiss him good night and leave him to it.

ActingNormal Thu 18-Jun-09 21:29:57

I am convinced that my dad has it. I posted his 'symptoms' on some Aspergers forums and got a mixed response. One of the forums - Aspergers World - might be useful for you as it has a section called My Spouse has Aspergers and there are loads of women on there going through similar things.

makipuppy Thu 18-Jun-09 21:33:41

MrsA the other evening we went out for dinner with another couple. I was doing the above, feeling my way through something I wanted to mention which was quite complicated and involved historical dates, and he started going crazy and saying what on earth did I mean. I was so embarrassed I went red and completely lost faith in what I was saying (actually I was right). The other couple (first time we met them) looked horrified! When we got home we had a big old row about it - he just said, but you were being fuzzy and making no sense. I asked him to try and listen to what I was saying or at least, seeing as he's supposed to love me, to shut up and let me dig my own grave if that's what I'm doing. It was an utterly fruitless argument and I went to sleep furious with him. He can be an utter pig like this.

I try to make my point, not condone it, but then leave it for my own sanity. This is definitely his worst trait.

I do a lot for him, I give him a lot of support and sometimes I can see how much he needs me.

I'm very sorry MrsA, about your PTS. And I'm glad you're getting counseling. DP and I have been through IVF together and I did find he could support me in many practical ways, although coming to my 6 week scan clutching 'Functions, Logic and Sets' was bizarre.

MaryBS Thu 18-Jun-09 21:37:17

I have Asperger's, but my husband doesn't!

The Wrongplanet website I've found to be very useful...

MrsAsp Thu 18-Jun-09 21:41:44

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MrsAsp: I think a big part of your coping strategy at the moment (while you are in need of a lot of emotional support) is to find someone else who can give you some of it. It's not only pointless but a bit unfair to keep on demanding something from someone that they are not equipped to give you.

LeonieSoSleepy Thu 18-Jun-09 21:42:45

My husband has an official diagnosis on the NHS of high functioning autism. How do i cope? I don't know, I just do. 9 years of marriage in a few weeks, and it seems like second nature.

In fact, i believe I have evolved to be a lot more like him than i'd ever thought i would - i'm a lot more distant, logical, precise, etc... He has changed too - he swears now. Drops the f word on occasion - something he used to chide me for when we first got married.

LeonieSoSleepy Thu 18-Jun-09 21:47:15

SolidGold: you're spot on here. I get my warm fuzzies elsewhere - my mom, my friends, my kids. My husband isn't supportive and never will be, and as our daughter too is HFA, i've come to learn that it is unfair, and downright cruel, to keep expecting things of someone that they cannot provide.

Think about it - if it was your child, and they were in school, and they were being expected to understand some context that they couldn't, some concept, you'd get upset as their mother if they were repeatedly pushed for something they couldn't do, right? Its the same with the husbands, though its harder to rationalise because you don't want to make excuses for them, and they are adults. But factually, they cannot reciprocate the feelings the same way, and that is the cold hard fact of it. To keep pressurising them is futile at best, destructive at worst.

DidEinsteinsMum Thu 18-Jun-09 21:49:46

MaryBS - could use some advice if you have time...

here or another thread?

MaryBS Thu 18-Jun-09 21:54:05

sure, I'm just going to bed now - tired after a long day, you can email me if you like

suttonmb at talk talk dot net

I was diagnosed only last September, but I was shellshocked when my son was diagnosed - as it was at that point I realised I had it too. There are differences between Aspie men and women, but we do share a lot of traits.

makipuppy Thu 18-Jun-09 22:00:07

MrsA, is your husband completely failing to support you through your ptsd? I find that although I don't talk about purely emotional stuff with DP, he has been amazingly supportive. SGB is right that you can't get from where there isn't, but I certainly don't feel unfulfilled in my relationship.

But I don't want to stick my oar in if your situation is different to mine. We are happy together. You must decide if you are and if you love him, and if you do then stick at it because a good counselor is easier to find than love.

MrsAsp Thu 18-Jun-09 22:05:44

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MrsAsp Thu 18-Jun-09 22:11:29

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MaggieBeau Thu 18-Jun-09 22:14:28

My x has Asperger's. It was hard alright. I can relate to everything you say. My x seemed so chilling to me when I cried and he became more cruel I thought. He also told me I made no sense. I am a very reasonable kind of person, so I'd never been cast in that role before. I'd always thought I could make somebody see my side with words. Mere words. It never worked.

He also seemed to misjudge social situations. Going somewhere if uninvited, Refusing point blank to go to some events where it was really rude NOT to go. Being very blunt with the neighbours... that kind of thing.

I don't think my x is capable of having a relationship with an 'nt' woman. He might meet an aspie woman and they could be content sitting in companionable silences! never mentioning feelings!

Good luck.

mx

LeonieSoSleepy Thu 18-Jun-09 22:14:59

MrsA, my DH has had his diagnosis for 2 years already but we suspected it since 2004. I guess I've had a lot more time to come to terms with things / learn to understand how the relationship will be, how far i can push him, what i can expect from him and what is futile.

You're in shock. You've only got to read the threads in the special needs section where parents get their children's diagnoses and are in shock and grieve for weeks/mnoths...

Give yourself time to understand what it means, in terms of you, him, and your future together. If you love each other, the details will work out.

I apologise humbly if i came across harsh in my post. I wasn't intending to. I was trying to get across that once I accepted that my DH wasn't capable of doing the things i wanted him to, then our marriage got a lot easier and more peaceful.

xx

DidEinsteinsMum Thu 18-Jun-09 22:16:54

MrsAsp - its a logic thing. There is no point of worrying because if you are worrying it is about one of 2 reasons:
1. it is something that can be solved
2. it is something that can't be solved.

for 1. don't worry go fix it
for 2. don't worry work around/ get over it and move on. You cant do anything to change it so worry about it is useless.

DOes that make sense?

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