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Aspergers...husband...any help ?

(35 Posts)
Barbara1956 Wed 06-Dec-17 21:20:18

My husband was diagnosed with Aspergers some years ago...when we met he was a high flying computer expert, but once he was promoted to a man management post he couldn't cope and was retired...leaving me with all the responsibility for paying the bills and looking after our 3 children.
I had a rough abusive childhood and have pretty much accepted my lot but am now having CBT to deal with my overwhelmingly terrible sadness.
I feel hopeless and suicidal a lot of the time and also know that if I didn't look after my family nobody would...feel hopelessly trapped ..
What can I do?

Shen0102 Wed 06-Dec-17 21:48:08

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user1471548941 Wed 06-Dec-17 22:37:06

Shen I find your post pretty offensive. I have autism, there is no doubt I am wired a different way but that doesn’t make me incapable of considering a partner.

If he doesn’t meet your needs or pull his weight, this doesn’t hide behind his condition. You are allowed to decide that’s not okay for you and leave. You sound like you deserve better.

Shen0102 Wed 06-Dec-17 22:43:55

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SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Wed 06-Dec-17 22:50:58

Ffs Shen. I'm an aspie and find your post pretty ignorant. Fine, talk about your own experiences, but don't assume all aspies are the same

"They're wired in a way whereby they can't put themselves in other people's shoes"


oldbirdy Wed 06-Dec-17 22:55:49

.….and yet it is the autistic people who apparently lack empathy hmm

Shon, your experience is your experience. There are many people happily married to autistic people. My own parents (dad is Aspie) have been married over 50 years.

Every autistic person is different. If you ask most "actually autistic" people they will tell you they often feel other people's feelings so acutely that they withdraw as a protection. They may struggle to know how to respond to a person's emotions, but most autistics would reject that they are entirely ignorant of the others' emotions.

My son is autistic as well as my dad, he is definitely an "overfeeler" who withdraws socially from a world that has too many expectations of him. I hope he one day meets someone who doesn't regard him as a conundrum or a problem to solve, but someone who gets him and loves him for the good kind person he really is.

oldbirdy Wed 06-Dec-17 22:58:25

Barbara, any reason why your dh isn't able to find work again? Something non- management related? Certain companies are now realising the benefits of the autistic mind to tasks in computing.

oldbirdy Wed 06-Dec-17 23:02:53

shon your understanding of aspergers is not correct. Aspergers is part of the autism spectrum and is not different; originally it designated autistic people who had not had language delay in infancy and whose intellectually capacity was above the learning difficulties range. However it sort of made people think it meant "mild autism" which it absolutely doesn't; so they largely stopped making it as a separate diagnosis some years ago.
So all asperger people can also be referred to as autistic.

Shen0102 Wed 06-Dec-17 23:05:01

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whitehandledkitchenknife Wed 06-Dec-17 23:05:52

Barbara - get yourself over to - it is a forum which offers specific support to those with AS partners. They will be able to offer you support and understanding about the difficulties you face. flowers

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Wed 06-Dec-17 23:12:26

"Please just Google Aspergers and you'll see that social skills and empathy is one thing they find difficult"

You know, thank you. As a person with aspergers it's never occurred to me to research my own condition.

Maybe you should read past the first few links and actually educate yourself

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Wed 06-Dec-17 23:13:16

And ADHD isn't an autistic 'syndrome'.


Voice0fReason Wed 06-Dec-17 23:19:14

Shen, you are talking offensive nonsense.
Aspergers IS Autism.
Aspergers no longer even has its own diagnosis - it was removed from the diagnostic manual.
Even when it did exist as a separate diagnosis, there was no difference in diagnostic criteria for adults! The difference between a diagnosis of Autism and Aspergers is the age at which speech developed. A speech delay in childhood would lead to an Autism diagnosis, no speech delay would indicate Aspergers.

The offensive part is the ridiculous judgement about what autistic people can and can't do. Many can show empathy. My husband couldn't do more for me when I am ill. There are some things he struggles with but he's very aware and tries hard. He is very loving and I'm very glad he married me!

It sounds like the man you dated for a short time didn't think that much of you or the relationship wasn't that important to him.

OP, has your DH considered getting any help? CBT is often very helpful for managing the type of difficulties he is having. You need to talk to him about the stress this is putting on you. Is there anything else he could to do help you?

LadyLapsang Wed 06-Dec-17 23:22:15

You can tell him he needs to pull his weight in the relationship or consider whether it is working for you and the children. Very difficult, I feel for you.

tobee Wed 06-Dec-17 23:23:53

Yeah googling stuff is always reliable! confused

Dd has asd and in our relationship I always think it's me and other people who are incapable of understanding, putting ourselves in others shoes.

Sorry to join in the derailment of this thread but that just made me mad! angry

bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 06-Dec-17 23:28:23

Shen - there is so much wrong with your post, I can't even.

Aspergers is not given as a diagnosis anymore, I use it as a short hand for my dc as people have a vague understanding that it is autism but without learning difficulties. But my dc have diagnoses of high functioning autism that is what used to be aspergers. According to their paediatrian.

Neither lack empathy as such, the issue is not a lack of emotion, it is a communication problem, a lack of social imagination. My children care, they show love, they are affectionate, they can seem disconnected at times but it is the children who bully or exclude them who lack empathy imo.

Op it is ok to end a relationship that makes you unhappy. If your husband is struggling to be the partner you need, maybe also you are not the partner he needs. Maybe you can be happier apart, only you really know, seek relationship counselling if you think that might help. I hope you find your way through as you sound like you have too much to deal with, if letting go of an unhappy marriage will help unburden you then you should consider it. Aspergers aside. flowers

oldbirdy Wed 06-Dec-17 23:32:42

shen I don't need to Google autism, thanks. I have an autistic father, an autistic sister, and an autistic son and I have been working in the field of autism diagnosis and support for over 15 years.

We are trying to tell you that you and Google are wrong. Ffs. Have the grace to acknowledge when you have put your foot in it.

Butterandsugar Wed 06-Dec-17 23:34:51

Im so infuriated reading Shen's comments. What idiotic nonsense. To burst your bubble I know many people with Aspergers who want nothing more than to relate and connect. Some may communicate that in a different way, but it doesn't mean it's not there. And Christ, Aspergers doesn't need to be cured you offensive wank

OP: it sounds like your husband was placed in a position that wasn't right for him. Could this have made him nervous/stressed about work? Can you talk to him about what support you might need?

EndofSummer Thu 07-Dec-17 00:10:15

My DH is ‘on the spectrum’ as some say. I do think it’s useful to bring this up OP, even if it is not an excuse.

What stands out for me OP is that you feel utterly alone and solely responsible for your family. Use this crisis time to highlight how you feel to your DH, talk to friends and family too. Maybe even couple counselling. It is not up to you only to look after your family, you have needs too.

If you decide to separate or not, it sounds like you need to look after yourself a bit more. He may take up the slack only when you let go of some of it. Be brutal about finances and give a deadline of how long you are prepared to be the full time earner.

toffee1000 Thu 07-Dec-17 00:18:27

Contrary to what some believe, ASD people can be empathetic. The problem comes from the fact that they can barely handle their own feelings and emotions let alone those of others. Many ASD people empathise so strongly that it’s painful for them. It may look like they’re not empathetic because they don’t do anything, but that’s approaching things from a neurotypical perspective. They are actually empathising, they just do not know how to deal with the situation.

PersianCatLady Thu 07-Dec-17 00:23:17

Please just stop you don't know what you are talking about and you are saying that every autistic person is the same, they are not.

picklemepopcorn Thu 07-Dec-17 07:09:24

@Shen0102 is speaking about her experience with an autistic partner, and hers is not an isolated case. It's great that so many of you are empathic and function well in relationships. None the less, autism is a social communication disorder which makes relationships potentially tricky for lots of NT/ASD couples.

What helped us, @Barbara1956, was when I pointed out to DH when he was struggling because of ASD. For example, if he's getting very anxious about his appointment with a new dentist I remind h8m that he doesn't like change and that it will be fine. He's getting much better now at recognising his own emotions and working out the underlying reason. It makes him much easier to live with!

SaturdayNightAtTheMovies Thu 07-Dec-17 07:42:53

I have AS. I've dated NT men and men with ASD and, I have to say that, without a doubt, despite the issues it can bring with it, I'd choose and ASD man over an NT man any day.

And that's even with the nightmare that a clash of traits can bring!

castasp Thu 07-Dec-17 07:50:50

when we met he was a high flying computer expert, but once he was promoted to a man management post he couldn't cope and was retired

I can understand that he might not have been able to cope with a man-management job - lots of NT people can't, but why hasn't he found another job as a computer expert without man-management responsibilities?

This to me smacks of him using his autism as an excuse to not work. The first thing that needs to happen is that he needs to get a job - that alone would help you immeasurably.

SaturdayNightAtTheMovies Thu 07-Dec-17 07:54:00

Contrary to what some believe, ASD people can be empathetic. The problem comes from the fact that they can barely handle their own feelings and emotions let alone those of others. Many ASD people empathise so strongly that it’s painful for them

Yes. Absolutely. This "people with ASD aren't empathetic, they don't/can't care about your feelings" stuff really irks me.

I don't know a single NT person who finds empathy painful. It's horrible.

I just don't respond in the NT accepted ways. And they call us rigid...

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