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Separating - ASD partner

(10 Posts)
NoPinkPlease Tue 09-Dec-14 21:39:05


I need to offload, I feel so guilty. I've been with DP for 13 years and we have 2dc - 7 and 4. My dss who's 15, has lived with us for many years too and I think of him as one of my own.

Me and DP have had issues over the years, To cut a long story short, it turns out he is on the autistic spectrum, as is my dss and ds(7). DP got his diagnosis this year and his anxiety and anger were also attributed to the treatment by his parents (emotional and physical abuse) alongside the ASD.

I've dealt with a lot over the years - the anger (now attributed to things that aren't his fault) has been tough and certainly emotionally abusive if coming from someone who experienced the world not on the spectrum. The lack of empathy, the lack of organisation, not wanting to do anything social - all has been so hard - when I'm the opposite really. But we've rubbed along and there's a connection - we've had good times and bad. DP has also been on anti-depressants for 3 years.

But over this year, it's become too much for me - I just can't handle being full time breadwinner, doing all the life / family organisation stuff including special needs stuff for the two boys.

I've had so little appreciation for what I do from DP and have been accused of nagging him to do things and then accused of letting him fail but not reminding him to do things.

I'm exhausted all round. I've tried to take the pressure off DP and now most weekends it's me and the kids doing stuff while DP is grumpy and playing computer games all day.

So I finally called it a day. He hates me, and thinks I don't understand autism and am being horrible for blaming him for behaviour that comes from that. He's off and grumpy with the kids all the time and I don't want them to see that as normal family life. Or that this relationship is normal either - I think I owe that to be dd(4).

But I do feel guilty - I'm his only friend and carer. And I'm walking away. Feel sad too.

NoPinkPlease Tue 09-Dec-14 21:40:47

Not sure what I'm asking really. Am I horrible? Should I go to counselling with him? I feel like it's all too late :-(

PoppyField Tue 09-Dec-14 22:41:46

Hi OP,

Sorry you're going through this. You're not responsible for his ASD. If he's abusive to you as a result of it, then you're not responsible for that either. It does seem as if you are shouldering all the burdens of this family, which is not fair at all.

What was it like before his diagnosis? Was your marriage in trouble then? Would you have split up anyway if he had not been diagnosed? Does his diagnosis mean you feel too guilty to split up?

You are not being horrible. You are not blaming him. He is blaming you. This may be symptomatic of his ASD but it doesn't make it any less horrible for you.

You are doing your best. And you deserve to have hopes for the future, not just one of struggle, blame and no appreciation...or affection, by the sound of it.

You perhaps need to see a therapist or counsellor to help you with this huge guilt, which is understandable.

You are not blaming him - you just don't want this life with him. Again, it's not your fault that he is like this. The bottom line is that you don't want to be with this person, ASD or not. I suspect it would be easier to leave if he didn't have ASD as you would have recognised his behaviour as unacceptable, pulled him up on it and then maybe considered splitting up if he didn't change. All these things are still the same. It is sad, but you deserve a chance of happiness too.

Be kind to yourself.

NoPinkPlease Wed 10-Dec-14 07:29:36

Thank you - I know rationally you are right (and I'm right!) but it's so hard. When you promised to stick together through thick and thin and then you can't...

mylifetoo Wed 10-Dec-14 19:15:57

Hi pink - you have just described my life. Even down to my sons being autistic. My H has Aspergers, he has been on ADs for two years and my life is hell.

Everything is always my fault. The not speaking for weeks at a time. Never ever going anywhere together. I am the breadwinner, appointment maker, decorator, organise.

I take my boys on holidays alone. I go to school appointments alone. I am married, but alone.

I have told him it's over, I can't take another ruined Christmas, no one welcome to come to visit.

So why do we feel so incredibly guilty. Is it because we are taking the role of carers and we feel responsible for these men who we thought were going to be our lifelong partners?

HippyDippyDooDaa Wed 10-Dec-14 20:30:54

I could've also written your post. My Dh is on the spectrum as is one of our children. I made the decision to separate at the end of October; I am just so tired of working full time, supporting our child's difficulties, organising the kids and the house, organising everything, doing everything! No emotional connection or closeness. He doesn't understand why I can't do it anymore or why we've split. He thinks I'm being cruel and we can try again. We can't.
I feel very guilty that I couldn't put up with it for the children but I've been trying to do that for years. They were heartbroken but slowly they're learning to adjust. Day to day, my life is much easier and I honestly believe we'll all be happier in the long term.
I'm out saying this is what you should do, just wanted you to know that there are others that really understand what it's like.

mylifetoo Wed 10-Dec-14 20:40:42

Hippy, my H has no family, he is estranged from all of them. No friends to stay with. No job, late fifties probably never work again. No money. I don't know if I could live with the guilt of my children's father ending up on the street, which is where he would end up.

But like you, I can't carry on with it anymore. I just wish it was all over and done with.

HippyDippyDooDaa Wed 10-Dec-14 21:10:53

It sounds like an impossible situation for you.
I'm in the process of trying to find dh somewhere to live, when I do, I have no doubt that I'll be setting it up for him. He's an alcoholic too, so I worry hugely that he'll drink himself to death with out my support.
But I got to a stage where I felt like myself and the kids were having a miserable life and it was a choice between dh's happiness an ours.

TheFriar Wed 10-Dec-14 21:48:29

I agree with other posters. The isolation can be incredible and sometimes you need to learn when to throw the towel.

The problem with autism isn't that you don't understand. To be honest, I don't think I can fully understand it just as there is no way DH can fully understand what being NT means, incl this need for closeness and intimacy.
The problem is that the need of the two partners can be so different that they can be incompatible.

And the fact that often the onus is the NT partner to make a lot of the sacrifices and efforts and that it just isn't sustainable.

I am with my AS DH. And we have a good ish relationship (even though I'm aware I have given up a lot to do so). But this would have never been possible if he hadn't made some conscious efforts to change too, incl lost of efforts re the dcs and how to deal with them, cope with the noise, expectations etc...

If tis is too much for yo0u, if this means that the situation has sucked all life out of you, them maybe it's time to say enough. No reason to feel guilty or bad about it. You've tried your best.

re the counselling, I believe it can help but only if you can find a counsellor that is specialised in AS. Even if it's just for you to process what has happened. Anyone else won't be able to make sense of his behaviours and will end up telling you either that he was abusive (which he probably wasn't even it can feel like this) or that it's your fault.

NoPinkPlease Fri 19-Dec-14 22:19:50

I can't tell you how much your posts helped me over the last week - I really needed to hear just that some people understand what's it like. I've read them and re-read them lots. Thank you. I'm moving on - it's going to take a few months for him to get sorted with job and house but I can handle that if I know the endpoint. I do feel optimistic about my life - and I've not felt that for a long time... X

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