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"Stop shouting at me"...

(22 Posts)
Bathsheba Thu 10-Dec-15 22:20:40

My husband has ASD. He does not understand emotion at all.

I suffer from anxiety and panic disorder. I am also extremely obese. I have a couple of (amazing) support workers for my MH issues and a lovely dietician for my weight (I've recently lost 3 stone and I look good).

Just talking tonight about how my latest dietician appointment went - I mentioned something my support worker had said about working with my dietician as my weight hugely affects my mental health.

My weight and my MH are very emotional and emotive for me.

I dared to get slightly upset - I've had weight problems for 45 years - I'm 45.

Immediately he said "stop shouting at me". I'm not shouting. Not at all. My voice pitch level never ever raises. I'm talking at normal speaking volume but emotionally.

EVERY TIME I DO THIS the conversation is over. It's always "stop shouting at me". Any time I emote at all.

And then he complains that I have a support worker, a peer supporte and a dietician when surely I should "be able to cope with these things myself".

I get no support at all.

Do they me wrong. I'm not needy or draining him. I work part time in s demanding job, I organise and look after our children and our home. I do charity work and I have lots of friends.

But I can never have a conversation with him - the person I'm closest too - about how I feel because any emotion is "shouting" so he stops caring at that point.

So I'm now sitting in tears - despite having a week where I've made a great MH breakthrough overcoming my biggest fear, whilst going really well in my weight loss because again I caitslk about it and he had shut down.

Notimefortossers Thu 10-Dec-15 22:31:23

Well flowers for you. I can understand how this upsets you, but maybe YAB a bit U? Your husband has a disorder which means he can't help his response to emotion any more than you can help your own MH issues and how they effect you. And didn't you know this about him when you started a relationship with him? Yet you chose to marry him and have children with him, so I think you kinda just have to deal with it. Sorry.

TheHouseOnTheLane Thu 10-Dec-15 22:45:51

It must be hard OP. I gather your DH is "hearing" the emotion in your voice and processing it as "loud" when actually it's just that he can't cope with the expressive speech.

I have no answer....I wish I did. flowers

Holstein Thu 10-Dec-15 22:51:08

My DD does this, she has AS. I think sometimes (partic. when tired) she just cannot pick out what emotion I'm displaying, and she's feeling cranky, so it's easier to put us in the wrong!

IceBeing Thu 10-Dec-15 22:51:43

That sounds like an incredibly difficult situation flowers

My husbands OCD and my PTSD have not been a great mix either....

You clearly need an emotional outlet and it clearly can't be your DH. It is also clear that you in no sense should be able to deal with it on your own.

I think accepting the thing you can't change (your DH ASD) and changing the thing you can (who you unload to for emotionally charged stuff) is the best option.

I know it hurts when the person who should be closest to you sometimes seems the last person to actually help you, but the relationship has a lot going for it so don't let this one element that is missing be a deal breaker.

IceBeing Thu 10-Dec-15 22:53:32

oh and fucking BRILLIANT job on both the mental health and the weight loss!

I had a bit of a break through myself this week - lets celebrate together!


LuckyBitches Fri 11-Dec-15 13:08:17

My DH does something like this - it means I never get to express any kind of anger, so you have my sympathy. And some virtual flowers!


cuntycowfacemonkey Fri 11-Dec-15 13:13:39

Oh dear that sounds hard for you flowers

Clearly your DH's ASD makes it hard for him to communicate and understand your emotions.

Could you try a different method such as writing each other emails/letters. I know that sounds very impersonal but my DB has ASD and he comes across as a completely different person in written form than he does verbally. Maybe your DH would be able to articulate his support better this way?

Janeymoo50 Fri 11-Dec-15 13:29:22

My partner works with a young man who is autistic - this is his response word for word when he doesn't know how to respond or doesn't get what he's being told or asked. "You're shouting at me", "Stop shouting at me".
Maybe try the writing down as mentioned above?

Oh, and a congrats from me too, sounds like you are making progress, be proud Bathsheba.

JapaneseSlipper Fri 11-Dec-15 15:58:59

You're doing great.

I can imagine this would be really tough. Sorry if I'm using the wrong terms or making assumptions, but does your partner have any support for his ASD? I'm not sure if it is necessary but he has a diagnosis so I wondered if he ever talks to anyone about it?

CrabbyCockwomble Fri 11-Dec-15 16:14:47

Well, if you have a support worker, a peer supporter and a dietician, then he's got a point, surely; you do have quite a lot of support?

I understand that you're saying that you want emotional support from him, but he's telling you that he isn't easily able to give you that. He is hearing your emotion as something overwhelming and demanding to him (probably because he knows you are expecting the right response from him in order to be supportive) which is scary. So he experiences that as you 'shouting'.

Well done on your weight loss. flowers

Bathsheba Fri 11-Dec-15 16:54:22

Just come in from work - told him his Mum was popping round..

He disappeared up the stairs - he has a day off work - with the iPad.

After she had gone I came up for a shower, found him sprawled on the bed with his outside shoes on my pillow.

I SAID can you please take your shoes off my pillow...

To which I got "Oh brilliant, you are shouting at everyone again".

Now he isn't talking to me.

I'm off on my work night out - who knows if I'll get my lift.

BipBippadotta Fri 11-Dec-15 18:05:41

Crikey, I wouldn't blame you for doing a bit of actual shouting under the circumstances. And losing 3 stone is just amazing. You have a lot to be proud of.

I think it's a bit harsh of a pp to say that you 'kinda have to deal with it' (!) People get ASD diagnoses at all different points in life, very often ASD traits don't manifest clearly until family comes along with accompanying stress/chaos, etc. Also, just because someone is unable to be compassionate in certain situations doesn't mean their loved ones' need for compassion magically vanishes.

Just because you've got a support worker and a dietician it doesn't mean you have no right to be upset that your life partner doesn't appear to care how you feel.

How aware is he of his ASD? Can he understand cognitively that what feels to him like shouting might not be intended that way?

I can see how this must feel like you don't have an equal adult partner. Particularly when he's got his shoes on your pillow! flowers

I hope you at least enjoy your work night out. wine

WheelParrot Fri 11-Dec-15 18:25:09

It's tricky.

I had this issue with XH, who had ASD traits (no full diagnosis though).

He liked me when I was calm. Not too sad, not too happy, and clearly couldn't deal with any range of emotion.

I think you do have to make allowances for his ASD, however at the same time it's entirely possible to talk to him and explain things. I have a child with ASD and whilst certain social quirks and emotions pass him by, I am still able to talk to him, explain how other people feel and why they feel it, and how they show this. He then learns WHY people act like this. He doesn't understand it, but it means he can not take it personally, or get too upset.

He also finds it difficult to understand when he is being told off, or when I'm just a bit annoyed, as he can't tell the differences in the tone of voice. So we talked and worked out a system where I can let him know if I'm telling him off or not.

Communication is always key, but even more so in these situations. Good luck!

Leelu6 Fri 11-Dec-15 20:46:31

YANBU. His comment that you're 'shouting at everyone again' leads me to think he knows very well what he's doing. He's stopping dead your attempts to get yourself heard.

1. You're 'shouting'
2. You're shouting 'again'
3. You're shouting at 'everyone'

He's making you seem reasonable at several counts.

What are his good points?

Gruntfuttock Fri 11-Dec-15 21:02:11

Leelu6 are there any typos in your post @ 20:46:31?

Leelu6 Fri 11-Dec-15 21:23:16

Oh sorry, I meant he's making OP seem unreasonable. Thanks Gruntfuttock.

LauraMipsum Fri 11-Dec-15 21:28:59

Oh god. I do this. (Also aspie.) Right down to the "stop shouting at me" phrase blush

In my (and the OP's DH's) defence, I find it very very hard to ascertain the difference between mild criticism and genuine anger. I also find it hard to distinguish between enthusiastic voice and angry voice. If I feel that I'm being "shouted at" I get very anxious, heart rate up, sense of terror, and often respond in what must seem like an inappropriate way - but I'm responding to what I think is being said to me and not what actually is. Alternatively I 'freeze' and just can't respond verbally at all, although I haven't done that for a while. It's horrible. I don't think anybody would feel like that through choice.

However that isn't a reason not to even try. If he finds it hard to process / recognise your emotions then I sympathise but he needs to find some mechanisms to enable him to do this rather than just opting out.

I like WheelParrot's suggestion of a system when you can indicate to him if you are angry or just emotional. I have a similar system.

And having his outdoor shoes on the bed is not on. You don't need to be NT to understand that. Aspies are good with rules - he will probably be able to understand 'house rules' are no outdoor clothes in bed for example.

CrabbyCockwomble Sat 12-Dec-15 12:54:36

I would go apeshit over shoes on my pillow, though... he'd be in no doubt whatsover that I was shouting there!

Alconleigh Sat 12-Dec-15 14:39:25

I had a partner like this. He'd talk about people at work "yelling" at him and I'd think how unlikely that was, given that he worked in an fairly high end office environment. I realised he meant any tone which was away from a middle range, as pp have described. I'm afraid I have no helpful words as I couldn't cope with being in a relationship with someone who wasn't NT, so I finished it.

Senpai Sat 12-Dec-15 14:42:18

Yeah, if he put shoes on my pillow, I'd be showing him what shouting really is. There'd be no confusion on the matter after that. angry

I'd stop humoring his "You're shouting" and tell him what it is you need to say. He is high enough functioning to make it all the way to marriage, he can handle an adult conversation without deliberately shutting it down. ASD isn't a get out of jail free card here. It might change the way you need to communicate with him, but he's milking it.

It could be something like "I am not shouting, I am talking and you need to listen. I am upset because X" or "Yes, I am shouting, you still need to listen to me".

whatdoIget Sat 12-Dec-15 15:36:45

He must know it's not ok to put your shoes on a pillow?? Why would he do that?

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