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ASD: Need to tell my story

(15 Posts)
satsumaluma Fri 28-Apr-17 22:50:00

I met him in Summer.
A proper gentleman. Old fashioned.
He held every door, clasped my hand at exactly the right times, was quiet, sensitive, but there was something about him... he was quirky and a little clumsy.
I met his friends.
They adored him, almost seemed to look out for him; his female friends almost mothered him.
He thought about every minor detail on our dates, made a considerable effort, seemed embarrassed whenever we got naked, I found it attractive. He was never about the sex. Not like other men.
We moved in together and minor frustrations began to set in... why was he so messy? Why did he hoard so much stuff? But, no relationship is perfect, right?
Then Marriage and a pregnancy....
I became ill throughout and remained at home due to high level vomiting and nausea. He Carried on as normal: his hobbies, his friends. One evening whilst out with friends I told him I had severe stomach cramps at 20 weeks, he took me home, I went to the bathroom and heard the door close and the key turn in the lock... he'd dropped me off at home and gone back out to his friends.
The friends who have always adored him.
Our baby was born; a beautiful baby boy and his mother closed in. Her awful criticisms and cruel comments went straight over his head; I cried every night. He put up no boundaries with her and she continued pushing her way into our lives against my wishes, demanding her grandson and my time, my new baby. He said it was me. I was too sensitive.

He continued his hobbies, his social life, his norms and argued that "everyone else I know does" whilst I became his housewife/maid. He stopped wanting sex, claiming to be too tired. He turned his nose up at my healthy meals, opting for the same unhealthy foods day in, day out. He never shouted or raised his voice, always spoke calmly but always resisted my ideas, any kind of change. I became aggressive and frustrated, I could not understand his lack of empathy, his lack of ability to relate.

Then there was his constant tapping, the following me around the house, the lack of spacial awareness when busy and hovering over me like a hawk, the constant insignificant questions, the failure to comprehend when I'm busy and it's not the right time for him to tell me about his friends neighbours uncles fathers car.

Then my father died and he threw himself into his business project whilst I grieved alone. He hugged me when I cried for a few minutes each time, then walked away, or rolled over in bed to continue what he had been doing before I'd gotten upset again.

I'd never felt so alone in my life. And so sad.

I began experiencing aches and pains, extreme fatigue, nausea, palpitations all through the stress of living with my lovely, calm, detached, rational husband.

Then I decided to seek help.

Does he really have ASD?

And after an old friend, also a professional MH worker met him they have confirmed to me that they believe he may be on the asd spectrum. A relief to me. But what now?
Do I really want to live a formulaic life where I have to teach him to pretend to empathise when I'm sad? What does this mean for my son who has a father with ASD? What does it mean for my own mental wellbeing?
Do I really want this?
And to everyone on the outside, he's still this quietly spoken gentleman who will do anything for anyone, but for me... this life is emotionally desolate and miserable.

Offred Fri 28-Apr-17 22:57:48

Does it really matter?

He doesn't meet your needs despite it making you ill. You don't need to know why he doesn't meet your needs and you can't diagnose him with anything off the basis of what a friend has said. Nor can you change him. For whatever reason he is happy being how he is.

Mogtheanxiouscat Fri 28-Apr-17 22:58:22

Hi. You've just described my parent's relationship. After 30 odd years of a very difficult marriage, the penny dropped that df is autistic.

Whilst this has helped my dm in many ways to make sense of all that has been, it's still very difficult to live with him.

She recommends Maxine Aaron's books. Helped her a lot.

Mogtheanxiouscat Fri 28-Apr-17 22:59:30

Maxine Aston

noego Sat 29-Apr-17 00:19:40

Its never going to change is it lovey. So for your own welfare and that of your baby there is only one sensible thing to do.

Zhan Sat 29-Apr-17 00:40:48

I once lived with a guy on the as and he was a nightmare. No communication, no decent conversation, everything was a competition, no empathy, no humour ... seriously life is too short. Sack him off.

feckingmarvellous Sat 29-Apr-17 02:20:33

You can't lump everyone who is autistic together. We're not all the same. (Me and entire birth family and DH & members of his family all well on the spectrum.) Some autistic people I could have a relationship with and others not.

It's about him, as an individual. He's a person. Do you want to be with this person?

boolifooli Sat 29-Apr-17 02:26:28

I haven't read the replies op but do you love your DH?

satsumaluma Sat 29-Apr-17 07:30:43

I have absolutely no idea anymore.
I read the aspergers traits and see he has many of them, but he has his good qualities and some of the traits he doesn't have. He is never, ever aggressive. He lives in a constant calm, which is better but I guess often a problem in itself.

feckingmarvellous Sat 29-Apr-17 08:18:32

My DH (lots of aspergers traits) is like that.

My mum, dad, and me (all lots of aspergers traits) are not calm people on the other hand.

The thing is that if you read about the traits a lot you will see them in everyone. A psychiatrist I saw asked me why I worry about my DC having them, as he said he sees autism in 40-60% of people. And I think he's right, when I look at the people around me. Autism isn't usually some horrible curse. It's a normal part of how humanity is wired.

A part of having autistic traits is that many are good qualities. People don't talk about that enough. There are as many positive autistic traits as negative. There's loyalty, hyperfocus, integrity, commitment to justice, etc, all of which can be a part of how a person presents with autism. About myself I particularly like how I notice patterns easily and notice small details, which leads me to appreciate small moments of beauty. I like my ability to research easily. I like my ability to self teach. I like my dedication and perseverance. All of those things can be a part of autism. Of course, if your husband has a high number of autistic traits, he will have a lot of positive traits too - we're just people with strengths and weaknesses like anyone else. We're not culturally conditioned to see the positives of autism at the moment, our culture has a narrative that it has to be a horrible curse.

But him having things you find positive as well as things you find negative doesn't mean that you should be together. Be together if you are happy. Don't be if you are not happy. But don't try and blame your not being happy on autism. We're just people. And if you're with a person with a high number of traits it's quite likely you have a higher number of traits than average too - humans tend to seek out the familiar.

feckingmarvellous Sat 29-Apr-17 08:26:09

The other thing is that you will hear lots of negative stories of people with "autistic" partners or ex partners... Because when we are unhappy we look for a reason, we look for something to blame. So when a relationship turns sour, often people start researching and decide their OH is autistic and that's the reason things are shit, or their partner has a diagnosis and that is blamed if things go bad. You don't hear about the positive relationships, because people with relationships that are going well don't feel the same need to psychoanalyse their partners.

loverlybunchofcoconuts Sat 29-Apr-17 08:33:57

The fact that he took so much trouble to ask you out and date you, when he struggles to empathise, suggests that he is very fond of you, but just doesn't understand all the 'normal rules' for relationships. With help (counseling - could you get him to go?), you might both learn enough compromises to be happy together. If you want to. But he'd certainly need to work on learning to be a good dad. If he isn't willing to accept that the two of you both need to work on how you relate, then you may not want to stay.

Do you have friends/family to support you too? He's never going to be the most supportive person, so you could do with other people to talk about emotional matters with.

Offred Sat 29-Apr-17 09:41:43

Feckingmarvellous - thanks for your wonderful posts! flowers

NotOneThingButAnother Sat 29-Apr-17 11:19:11

I think the point coming over here is that if you are not happy - and it sounds like you are utterly miserable - then you need to look at separating. How old is your son now? What other support networks do you have?

satsumaluma Sat 29-Apr-17 16:50:18

I've become quite isolated in terms of other supportive networks as I've been so low for so long so know I need to find my support circle again to support me if I decide to leave.

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