Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Have You Ever Left Someone Because You Couldn't Handle Their Disability/Condition
This is probably going to raise a few eyebrows...but it's life. So let's crack on...
I got involved with someone who has recently been diagnosed with a form of high-functioning Autism. We have been together for just over 5 years. I knew he was different from the moment that we met; but that didn't necessarily put me off. We are on opposite paths in almost everything we do/think about.
Underneath the condition; he has been a nice guy. I get occasional glimmers of him liking me - a bit. Most of the time though; being with him is extremely hard work physically and emotionally. Every conversation shows how different we are to each other. And most lead to arguments. He has to win and there is no compromise! I want a quiet life (see there's one opposite straightaway!).
I was expecting over time that there would be some movement towards a middle ground; but that hasn't really happened.
I am starting to realise that maybe I could only live with his condition if there was some form of change (even if just a morsel). we tried to access support services but there is no help in our area. I have been told he can't change- and I can't accept things as they are now. I hate the idea of having to leave him because of his condition; but in reality when that condition batters you every day - what can I do?
If you are unhappy leave him. You don't have to justify your reasons to anybody.
You don't have to put up with a relationship that's 'extremely hard work emotional and physically'
It sounds horrible
You aren't his carer. If the relationship isn't working for you (and I couldn't be in a relationship that was 'extremely hard work, emotionally and physically') then you don't have to stay.
I totally agree with the others, if you aren't happy as things stand and that's not likely to change then time to call it quits.
Such a shame you feel the need for validation by posting here. Honestly, you've one life, don't waste on someone who isn't for you because you won't be free to find happiness otherwise
Yes , I did. Mentally unwell. But also an idiot.
If he had not been diagnosed then you may have just decided that you were incompatible and the relationship had run it's course.
He cannot change and you should not stay with him out of guilt because of his condition. Let him go and move on with your life.
It's not working for you OP. Don't stay with him out of obligation. And don't feel guilty. I have MH issues and have been in a relationship with someone with OCD and anxiety. I'd try not to see it as leaving him because of the condition, it's just because it doesn't work.
Thank you all for your generous comments and PMs so far. DP has Pervasive Development Disorder which has aspects of many different disorders on the Autistic spectrum. I agree with the comment that some people with the condition (particularly if they are of high intelligence) are good at appearing 'normal'. It is so difficult for others to accept that he is different. He has had GPs tell him ,'well you don't look like someone with Aspergers'. Others take single behaviours and say 'it's just like my husband' (actually alongside other stuff it's not). Another said 'accept him as he is or move on' (hows that for the sympathetic truth?)
Autism practitioners haven't been much help either - they downplay because he is of high IQ and 'atypical'. We just don't seem to fit anywhere.
I am quite a strong and determined person. I don't like to give up on relationships just because they are hard. But I do need more back from a partner to show he's invested in our partnership. Every time I mention something I need that he doesn't understand it becomes a hostile environment at home. I am sick of him implying I have a problem because I am the first person in his life to challenge his behaviour (his family just know what not to raise to avoid issues).
I have a DS living with us too, and I worry about the effects of relationship tension and seeing my DPs behaviour on him.
I am starting to distance myself ready to go. It is not easy. I have to find some work that I can do with a spinal condition and I will have to find a new home for my DS and I. I will have to build up my finances and self esteem again.
Coming out of a relationship like this is more challenging than with someone who is neuro typical. DP won't ever understand why I needed to leave and the same day I say it's over he will kick my son and I out - not his problem anymore.
I hate the idea of plotting a getaway behind his back but I can't see any other safe option.
Would he be willing to see a Relate counsellor with you?
So hang on, you started a relationship with someone whom you knew from the start to have issues and you're wondering how you can get out of this without it affecting your finances negatively? So he has been financially supporting and housing you and your son? My son has PDD-NOS and it would be my worst nightmare for someone to try and take advantage of him like that. If you are not happy in the relationship then you should just leave.... and support yourself.
It's unusual for an autism practitioner to downplay a person's condition because of high IQ. PDD (as it used to be known) is quite well known. Also, every single person with ASD is unique so in a sense, atypical.
You must be seeing the wrong practitioners and wrong GP(s? more than one?) if they are saying things like this.
Doesn't mean you should stay in the relationship.
OP working through bad patches in an otherwise good relationship is fine. IMO it's better than thinking relationships are all hearts and flowers and perpetually ending relationships at the first hiccup. But relationships should not be hard from start to finish. What's the point in that? You have to get some benefit and sorry, I can see where mimi is coming from, the benefit shouldn't just be accommodation.
Rock - I mentioned Relate - but DP's take is that there is 'nothing wrong' so what's the point? He is largely unaware of how his behaviour impacts on the family and is hardened to regular friction in the air - so a meta-conversation on it is likely to be ineffective.
Mimi - thank you for the observation. I financially support myself and my son. I have my own home-based business and contribute to housing/renovation etc costs in this way. I pull my weight at home and I am very nurturing despite difficult times. Yes my son and I moved into his house, so ending of relationship means we will have to re-home. I am not quite in the financial position yet to make the move.
Mumslife/Shouldi - we have been to a few GPs before being referred for his diagnosis. It is amazing how (even in the medical field) so little is know about the complexities of Autism/PDD. I had a autism practitioner ask me if I though he had mental health problems (in front of him - knowing that our relationship is in trouble) - where does that ever happen? I toyed with the idea of going further afield - but DP didn't want to do that. So things are parked.
Gabilan - I totally agree that all relationships have peeks and troughs - comes with the territory. But this seems to be more troughs and daily arguments. And the troughs are some of the lowest I have ever experienced.
OP, a MNr has set up a website for NT people in AS/NT partnerships, called Different Together. All the things you say are echoed there. You might find it helpful.
Wouldn't recommend Relate for this sort of difficulty OP. Like Themod says - check out Different Together - counselling threads.
If you're finding a relationship a terrible uphill struggle, and the other party says there is nothing wrong, you have a major imbalance and I don't think it is sustainable in its current form. Really nothing to do with his condition.
I wonder if you might enjoy meeting up/dating without living together? Nothing says that you can't do this.
I did suggest us living in separate houses to DP a while ago Annan. I thought 'if its the living together thing that isn't working perhaps a alternative arrangement could work - where my son and I had somewhere to retire to/ run free of the PDD. DPs thinking just could not accomoodate this. His take was 'we live together or we are not together'. He also said that if we split - there would be no kind of friendship after (which would be a shame; but if that's his choice....)
Hi, I echo pp that if you are not happy you must leave for the sake of you but also your son, I don't know how old your child is but even very young children click on early if mum is not happy. It is unfortunate that his condition is the driving reason but really it is incidental, you are not happy and you have no obligation to remain stuck in an unhappy relationship, you are not his carer or responsible for his health but you are responsible for your health especially because you need to take care of your own happiness and mental wellbeing to be the best you can be for your child.
Also I have Asperger's and I know it can be hard on DH sometimes, I know that everyone on the spectrum is different and affected differently but many of us work very hard to learn coping strategies and modify behaviours to limit damage on our loved ones. I am not perfect but I try hard to make compromises and not have a negative impact on DH. People have autism but they are more than just the clinical traits, and I think a person's personality aside from the clinical traits decides how they react to diagnosis, how they decide to use that information and whether they want to learn to minimise the affects the condition has on their loved ones (obviously it goes without saying I am excluding people with classical autism/those who are severely learning disabled). I wish you luck in the future, you do what you have to do.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.