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Married to someone with Asperger's? Support group here!

(588 Posts)
picklemepopcorn Fri 03-Aug-18 10:04:30

This thread is for partners seeking to understand the dynamics of their relationship with someone with ASD. It is a support thread, and a safe space to have a bit of a rant. Avoid sweeping generalisations if possible, try and keep it specific to you and your partner.
(ASD partners welcome to lurk or pop in, but please don't argue with other posters and tell them they are wrong.)

HermioneGoesBackHome Fri 03-Aug-18 10:28:41

Thanks pickled

I have found our last thread very helpful actually.
I know this will not change the fact our relationship is dead.
But it has reminded me of the WHY and that there is a lot H can’t really help. It has helped me appreciate the efforts he is currently doing.

In some ways, it is also making it harder for me to leave! (Because I know he will find the same struggles that Ford describes and I don’t wish him any hardship and because I also know he will find it very hard)

So quite a bit of peace of mind going on there... which is nice (also probably helped by the fact he is away with the dcs for their common special interest!)

picklemepopcorn Fri 03-Aug-18 10:32:58

When the heat left our relationship, it became very peaceful! I think the 'ongoing' nature of the relationship is what DH struggled with. With hindsight, I realise he thought he'd 'achieved it' when we married, and didn't realise that it is actually a constant process of developing intimacy.

HermioneGoesBackHome Fri 03-Aug-18 10:43:33

Tbf I think a lot of men think like this too!!

horsecode Fri 03-Aug-18 10:54:53

Thanks for starting the new thread- thanksI'm still lurking in the background. I separated from my - not formally diagnosed but very obviously ASD - husband 3 months ago now and this thread has been amazingly supportive. I appreciate we definitely need to avoid sweeping generalisations, but I have had so many light bulb moments when reading about others experiences and this has given me huge comfort. I think I blamed myself for somehow not being special enough for him to connect with - and it is a massive relief for us both to understand why our relationship doesn't work. We get on better than ever now that he's moved out and I don't expect anything from him. I don't resent him anymore because I see he really can't help some of his behaviour. We still co parent a daughter so it is important for us to get on, and this can happen now that we are separated. This thread is a life saver for people trying to have an NT type of relationship with someone who can't

cardeyscat Fri 03-Aug-18 10:57:16

I'm so grateful for this discussion as it's making me feel much calmer and more patient. This is what's needed for my marriage to implode. I hope this thread continues to grow and help people.

FordPrefect42 Fri 03-Aug-18 10:59:11

I am female btw @HermioneGoesBackHome 😂

Don’t worry people get it wrong all the time! Posts to Feminism Chat about being misgendered

Anyway I promised myself I wouldn’t comment but thought I ought to clarify that!

All the best to everyone here. flowers

FordPrefect42 Fri 03-Aug-18 11:04:48

I am very non-conforming if that is any consolation. Partly due to sensory issues around tight clothing. 🙂

CoatComfy Fri 03-Aug-18 11:06:19

Hi thanks for starting this thread.

I have what I suspect is an Aspie husband. I am really tired of trying and the absence of emotional intimacy. The last thread made me realise it wasn't my fault and he is just like that and not likely to change. Anyhow I am thinking of asking him for a separation and divorce. Do you have any advice on how best to tackle that with an Aspie?

horsecode Fri 03-Aug-18 11:20:32

I found that I needed to be very clear about what I wanted when I suggested separating as there is no way that he is able to have a mutual discussion about this type of emotional decision. I presented my plan with suggestions for how it could work out - the benefits for him and for me and my daughter. I'm lucky that he is very kind and doesn't want to upset me so he will usually agree if I can 'sell it' to him if you see what I mean

CoatComfy Fri 03-Aug-18 11:30:39

@horsecode yes I do. It has to be very logical and non-emotional reasons, narrated in a non-emotional fashion. I am going to have to think it through properly.

HermioneGoesBackHome Fri 03-Aug-18 11:39:54

horse what sort of benefits did you give him if you dint mind me asking??

CoatComfy Fri 03-Aug-18 11:42:00

That would be useful to know horse thanks

ChangerOfNameAspieThread Fri 03-Aug-18 11:54:12

Yay! Thanks for the new thread @picklemepopcorn .

I imagine I'm going to be on here a lot in the next two weeks. I'm off to my in laws. This is like Aspergers central. No diagnosis. Now before I get jumped on, while my DH doesn't always want to admit he has it, when he understood what it can be like he immediately recognised it in his family before I said a word.
FIL - breaks my heart. Such a gentle guy but the control side for him is strong and he has OCD. Every night we go to bed hearing him check each windows is closed 12-16 times (moving the handle). I've spoken about getting help for this but as nobody discusses emotions or other people's mental states, nothing happens.
MIL - can't tell if she has it or is just severely affected/conditioned after living with FIL for 40 years.
DHs paternal aunt - very classic case. Even has an amazing photographic memory and memory in general (can work for and against you!). She lives down the road.
MIL's maternal cousin - also unmistakable
MILs paternal second cousin - happiest of all of them but very sad because he's living in his parent's house, he's now retired, nothing in the house has changed, including his mother's cleaning routine from when she was alive. He barely leaves the town and isn't comfortable with non extended family members.
DHs maternal aunt's husband

What is so incredibly sad is that there is no diagnosis. So, when FIL is repeating himself for the 100th time, people are very irritated with him. If they understood this was what he does when he's stressed, then they could maybe help relieve the stress. Worse is that he doesn't know he's stressed either, or not to the point where he can name it. He just keeps repeating himself. This man is an absolutely beautiful soul - they all are - and the lack of diagnosis means a) everybody just accepts each other's quirks in a relatively healthy way, without labelling them but b) there is no help available to help with the mental suffering that happens under the surface.

For me it means no emotions for the duration.

Oh and they don't speak English and my language skills are ok, but not excellent! I don't always know if I've misunderstood or someone is "joking"!

workinprogressmum Fri 03-Aug-18 12:01:27

Thanks for the new thread!

I just wanted to write something positive about my AS husband. Today our song from our first dance (at our wedding) came on the radio and he smiled and held my hand. Was such a sweet gesture. He chose that song for me which is one of the nicest things he's ever done and reminds me why I'm still here.

horsecode Fri 03-Aug-18 12:28:33

So what worked for me was telling him that the atmosphere in our house was just unbearable for me. I told him that having an emotional connection with my partner is now a non-negotiable, I have tried to live without it for nearly 2 decades and it was making me ill. Now that I know we will never have that connection I cannot live with him. I have had so many emotional outbursts from the pain of feeling so lonely in my marriage I think he was keen to get away from that too. I told him that it was a toxic environment for our daughter, that I respected that he was doing his best but that he needed to move out to be fair to us all. He is a great dad and I reassured him that I would never stop him seeing our dd.

What has really shocked me most about my situation is the hostility and lack of support I've had from my family. They only see the facade and the masking behaviour - and they don't recognise any of the behaviours I talk about as he is good at performing socially (with lots of alcohol) for short periods. It is a very lonely experience but I feel more myself now that we have separated - it is a big relief

horsecode Fri 03-Aug-18 12:33:55

Sorry - I didn't say about the benefits - I told him that:

Living on his own means he can indulge in his very niche hobby whenever he likes
He can get drunk when he likes as no nagging from me
He need never have another emotional discussion
He will never have to see a relationship counsellor again
He will never have to act social when he doesn't want to for my family and friends
He can still see our daughter whenever he want
He seems very happy on his own so far!

Bipbopbee Fri 03-Aug-18 12:42:30

Thank you for starting this new thread. Realising DH being Aspie has actually helped me with overcoming a bit of resentment I had had over the years ( seemingly struggling to cope with what I thought were normal every day things, OCD behaviours, social difficulties, being physically exhausted and needing lots of sleep, lots of anxieties over what I thought were non-issues, the list goes on. ) He gets so stressed out if we fall out, disproportionately so, and says angry unkind things that he later regrets. He does actually have good empathy but mostly if he is fully focussed on the situation, it takes him a while to work things out.

OrlandaFuriosa Fri 03-Aug-18 12:54:17

I found the most important thing for me was to distinguish between the condition and bad behaviour, AS or ArSe. Once I could do that, I could stand back more.

I also found ways round things, helped by others.

And I found generalisations don’t work in general! Yes, there are common underlying themes but the spectrum is non linear, more like a radar graph. That helped hugely.

As did working on reclaiming. I’m much saner now about the future.

ChangerOfNameAspieThread Fri 03-Aug-18 13:36:33

Horsecode what you say about "selling" is similar to what I have tried/try
to do. I find it may or may not work but I won't know for sure for about 9 months. He sees us separating as a failure of epic proportions. I've tried various ways of framing it, but he's got his frame and won't change it.

I get so exhausted because ultimately I can't just say, "It'll be ok." I have to show him too. Hence why I have this holiday at his parents. I have to show him and them that they don't need to panic. I'm saying it'll be ok (as long as we put the kids first and treat each other respectfully - and I've been pointing out to him for a few years when people we knew were going through divorces and weren't doing either of those things, and suggested to him other ways they could have chosen to act).

The atmosphere in our house isn't as bad as it's been because I'm not feeling like I'm going crazy all the time. So I'm taking that as a sign that some of my words and actions are having some effect.

I'm completely exhausted and worn out.

I never ever want to be in a marriage again. Because of Brexit it'll be another two years before we can actually divorce anyway (long story), but after that no more long term relationships! A few passionate love affairs now and again might be very welcome though!

OrlandaFuriosa Fri 03-Aug-18 13:43:23

Changer, I’m with you on no more marriage/ long term partnership, ever. If that means I collapse and die by myself, fine. Seriously. This one has done for me.

CoatComfy Fri 03-Aug-18 14:21:59

No more relationships or marriage for me ever again too. I think when you have been physically abused you believe there are men who don't physically abused. But this is much more subtle, and goes on for far too long, so it's damage in some ways is more long term.

CoatComfy Fri 03-Aug-18 14:23:24

@horsecode thanks for sharing that. I know my family are not going to support me. They love him. He is very charming when he is with them, which is for very short periods. I'm very good at hiding my pain.

wishiwas17again Fri 03-Aug-18 14:35:49

biobopbee I agree, I’ve found it perplexing for years - DH hates any interaction with the dcs’ school and flatly refuses to go to events and on the very rare times I make social plans he often tries to refuse before and on the night and if not behaved badly.

I feel in fact whereas I thought he was just being belligerent and not caring about my opinion, perhaps he was only seeking to avoid himself pain and I’ve expected too much, not understanding. I’m not great socially, so I wanted the support of him being there. I’ve come to realise it makes situations worse and not better though.

It’s been hard as he masks well and is charming and lovely at work - I believe his colleagues think I’m crazy for suggesting he has aspergers but, they don’t see the post work fall out or all the rigidity that happens at home - he’s more like females with aspergers are reported to be in his presentation. My family wouldn’t get it either if we split. People often tell me how lovely my DH is - because he goes out of his way to say what he’s decided people want to hear.

That said he did once have to do a band show where he played with his back to the audience...

wishiwas17again Fri 03-Aug-18 14:47:46

ps I hope that’s not a negative generalisation to say that the female presentation of AS is that they act out at home - we’ve been told this wrt our dd and her traits etc.

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