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Think my husband has autism

(11 Posts)
melancauliflower Sat 16-Jul-16 13:05:17

We've been together 10 years, married for two. He's always had little quirks like needing his shirts folded a certain way and and always struggled to communicate his feelings or understand mine. I am very good at explaining however and it's important to me to feel understood by him so I've always made the effort. However he is completely unable to understand feelings of his daughter, my daughter or other family members and is totally black and white. I have to put him in the shoes of the other person before he can understand their reaction to something. I've always thought he was a good listener but lately I'm thinking that maybe he's just sat there thinking about something else.
It's come to a head as he's stressed about something work related and it's clear that he has got "worse". My friend noted the other day it had taken him 13 minutes to put his shoes and socks on because he has to do it a certain way. I've also noticed him talked for a long time to people about things that are clearly boring but he doesn't realise. He is well liked because he is gentle and well mannered and interesting most of the time, people appreciate his calmness... But living with him has become really hard. I don't bother to invite anyone around when he's here as he gets so stressed about the mess. I love to socialise so it's a shame. My DD (previous relationship) treads on eggshells as any mess she makes is treated like she's committed murder.
To make matters worse he's been away this week and his teenage DD came round to ours drunk and was sick in the lounge. I thought I'd cleared it all up but nope, he's now thrown away the rug (which I love and which was totally fine and we can't afford to replace) and has had all the covers off the sofa to get dry cleaned. Another example is me sweeping the kitchen floor.. He'll always come in afterwards and do it properly. I feel like a scruffy child. God knows how DD feels.
He's barely touched me since he's been home. I love him but I just feel so sad. He's always preoccupied by something else. He's never really here...

melancauliflower Sat 16-Jul-16 13:09:42

In fact he only ever touches me when he wants sex or if I instigate a cuddle. He doesn't see the point of affection unless it's sex.

melancauliflower Sat 16-Jul-16 13:10:12

Autism, maybe OCD? Maybe he just doesn't like me.

SpringTown46 Sat 16-Jul-16 13:14:41

OCD seems to be the dominant factor, could be autistic traits too. GP referral, as it is interfering with normal everyday life and functioning.

MoMandaS Sat 16-Jul-16 13:19:25

That sounds very hard for you. I've recently read Tony Attwood's The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome because my son is thought to be on the autism spectrum. I'd really recommend it, not only because it explains a lot, but because it provides strategies to help autistic people and their families go about day to day activities, and to help autustic people relieve stress. Many of those strategies would benefit people showing traits of Asperger's, even if they don't actually have it.

melancauliflower Sat 16-Jul-16 14:39:28

Thank you, I will read the book. I don't know how to tell him my concerns...

melancauliflower Sat 16-Jul-16 14:44:02

You know it's funny really because I'm complaining now that since he's been home all he's done is clean and sort and organise things and as he's been away for the week I'd hoped he might want to do something with me. If I told any of my friends this they'd be asking to swap husbands!!! But in reality I just feel like an unnecessary part to a military operation. And actually the cleaning and sorting is all stuff I never knew needed to be done! Our house is spotless!!

MoMandaS Sat 16-Jul-16 14:59:52

The book explains that many Asperger's people develop anxiety disorders and subsequently rituals to help them feel in control, which can escalate to OCD. I know most women would be thrilled to not need to do the cleaning etc but I understand how isolated you must feel. As for telling him your concerns, I don't know ... but I would tread very carefully as (like most men, I think) he's almost bound to see it as an accusation, almost, which might result in him refusing to talk about it.

melancauliflower Sat 16-Jul-16 15:06:47

Yes I think he may do. I have my own issues, recently began to recover from alcoholism, and I take depression medication. I think he believes I am the one with the problem.. Which obviously I am but I think that by starting to deal with my stuff I am seeing where his behaviour hasn't helped

oldbirdy Sat 16-Jul-16 15:17:16

My dh does the cleaning sorting stuff when he gets home from trips (often works away). I do often feel implicitly criticised, like I don't do a good enough job of keeping things ticking over when he's away. I can't answer for the autism idea, but what did help hugely with the cleaning was reading 'The 5 love languages'. It's a bit American schmaltzy but the idea of people having different ways of showing love resonated; I try hard to think of dh as an 'acts of service' guy who is genuinely cleaning because he thinks it shows he loves us and is committed to us ( he is). I am a 'quality time' person and would rather he wanted to snuggle on the sofa with a film....not suggesting this tackles your autism or not issue, but the book might be worth a punt to see if it helps with seeing how he operates within the family in a different way?

melancauliflower Sat 16-Jul-16 16:00:41

Thanks, interestingly I have read that book and a few years ago it made me feel a lot better about things. I think there is an element of that involved - he does show love by doing things whereas I'd rather have a compliment or a cuddle or a little gift. But it's more than that, he's not doing things for me - for example the rabbits needed cleaning and he wouldn't have gone near that, also he will miss out my daughter's washing because it's in her (very messy) room with the door shut at all time so he has mentally written that space out. He does things he thinks are important. If that makes sense. I'm not saying it's not lovely, I have a beautifully made bed to jump in to tonight but yes I have that exact feeling... Like I've been squatting here all week leaving my grim everywhere and now he's come in and made it all sanitary again.
It has a lot to do with the DD being sick but it's way over the top.

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