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

(932 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.)

picklemepopcorn Fri 03-Aug-18 14:54:31

Changer et al... me too! Never again. I want to be free to think about myself.

DH's family is undiagnosed aspie central, too. Lovely people, haven't had a conversation about anything for years.
Bil1has never had a relationship, lived at home until he was 35, stayed in his first job for 25 years, until he was made redundant.
BiL 2 lives at home at 35. Has a degree but has worked as a garden labourer for years, no guaranteed hours etc. Can only have a conversation 1-1, but don't ask any difficult questions like what his favourite food is. Didn't know his NI number, or have a passport, when we tried to check his tax code.
I could go on, but I won't.

So clever, all of them. But not engaged, really.

Bipbopbee Fri 03-Aug-18 15:11:05

wish piecing everything together between us was when the penny dropped. I actually feel guilty now for being irritated, I just used to put a lot down to being shy and socially awkward, a bit “anal” etc before the dots all joined up. He has also opened up about lots of things that I had no idea about ( high pitched noises like sirens or bright lights actually causing him physical pain, and not liking being touched by anyone other than close family etc. But loves being hugged tightly by me.)
A lot of how he is is contradictory which is also not easy for me to fathom. Which is not easy as he can’t explain it himself! confused He prefers very small groups ( 1, 2 people ) as he says he struggles to track more than one conversation at a time and can’t tell if he’s saying the right thing or is being boring, so clams up with more people. He says he feels like an alien most of the time, which makes me sad for him .

yuriz Fri 03-Aug-18 15:29:39

What a charmingly disablist thread.

Wonder what ones I can start.

calzone Fri 03-Aug-18 15:37:36

Yuriz.....what are you talking about?

picklemepopcorn Fri 03-Aug-18 15:40:27

I have reported yuriz comment, asking MN to let us continue.

@yuriz we have had this conversation elsewhere. This is a thread where partners of people with ASD can come for support if they need it. We are attempting not to generalise, and only to reflect on our own experiences.

Where do you see disablism? Please be specific and we may be able to explain or ask for it to be edited.

picklemepopcorn Fri 03-Aug-18 15:43:26

I do not see any disablism,
I do see lots of specific instances we have found hard, and requests for advice on how to address them.

I do see lots of positives being mentioned.

themostinterestinglife Fri 03-Aug-18 15:46:03

I also swore that I wouldn't have another relationship after divorcing ex two years ago. Now, I can almost see myself changing on that! Which is a big surprise. It has taken a long time to heal, but heal I have; once we separated, colour, happiness and joy came back into my life. What has really changed is that now I spend much more of my time being happy, surrounded by happy people, and that includes men that I could see might bring that happiness into a relationship. Would keep them out of my little home sanctuary for a long time though...lovers on the side might work smile!

Bipbopbee Fri 03-Aug-18 15:48:18

I just took that comment from yuriz as being goady.
Speaking personally I love my DH more than anything and actually take my hat off to him for having to cope feeling different. I also respect the effort and emotional cost he goes to to do things for us that make him feel uncomfortable.
I know this has not been everyone else’s experience with OH’s.
I think every AS and NT relationship is unique.

picklemepopcorn Fri 03-Aug-18 15:50:53

Let's ignore, and hope MN agrees.

picklemepopcorn Fri 03-Aug-18 16:16:59

MN agrees.

Bipbopbee Fri 03-Aug-18 16:25:44

pickle good! Well done wink

HermioneGoesBackHome Fri 03-Aug-18 17:03:00

Thanks pickle

Bip I agree that every ASC/NT relationhsip is different.
And I agree about how hard it can be to try an fit in and feeling different (also because this is exactly how I feel myself but not because I’m not NT. But due to cultural issues)

I think that what killed my relationhsip is that, at some point, H decided that I was totally wrong on absolutely everything. (But never said a word, just acted in a PA way instead)
So I was wrong not to do more around the house (I had ME but apparently was just lazy. He said that much to me)
I was wrong to find it hard to look after two under two on my own (he was away most of the time for work and hobbies. Only recognised it was hard when he had to do it himself) etc etc
It created an atmosphere where he was for ever angry. And Obvioulsy where he would NOT make any effort towards me, because I was wrong to ask for whatever I was asking for.

A good example was when he clearly refused to do more around the house, which I needed him to do (due to ME but also because I didn’t want to be the skivvy in the house AND try to build a business but only if that fitted around him!).
So he told me that, growing up, he only saw mums who were SAHM so that was his norm. Except ..... his own mother was a farmer, has worked all her life, 7 days a week!, both in house in their own farm but also outside the house to help other farmers, and he saw that day in and day out!
But that was a good enough excuse for him to say he felt it was normal and therefore it was not normal for me to ask him to step up and do some hw, parent the dcs etc...
And every clearly he was extremely ressentful about it. Hence the constant (PA) aggression...
Same with asking to try and do things that I could physically do when we were together etc....

So for me, the effort wasn’t there. sadsad

Maybe as Orlando was saying it was more ArSe than AS. Or maybe he got so overwhelmed by the situation and so entrenched in his ideas that he just couldn’t see (or hear) any other possibility than the fact I had to be wrong. White board and all that.

HermioneGoesBackHome Fri 03-Aug-18 17:07:09

horsecode thanks for that list. Very helpful.

Not sure I will find a similar list because, atm, he probably has the perfect life for him. He does his hobbies when he wants, (still doesn’t no or little emotional outbursts from me anymore, I’m still ‘here’ for him, at a level that feels right to him. I’ll have to think there....

Bipbopbee Fri 03-Aug-18 17:42:52

hermione that sounds very hard on you. I am so sorry.
I think you are right when you say it is an entrenched view though. Not that I am making excuses for anyone and I dont agree with how you have been treated.
DH is similar in that he talks of having an entrenched view “ pre-aspie” enlightenment... when I was the unreasonable one ( he would base this on a minor incident ) or “controlling” him etc etc. He is more able to see another POV if I make him go through the scenario through his own perspective. Then it’s a different story hmm .... and I’m not apparently unreasonable after all!
I found being very direct with DH helps somewhat.
I’m not sure what advice to give though about your situation flowers

HermioneGoesBackHome Fri 03-Aug-18 17:47:56

Haha Reminds me when he told me I was controlling because I wanted a menu for the week (easier for me and reduced the cost of shopping).

Also for wanting to do budget (never managed to do that one...)

HermioneGoesBackHome Fri 03-Aug-18 17:51:40

Bip tbh things are much better now.
In part because having an official diagnosis (and spending nearly two years reminding him) means he has finally accepted the ME.
In part because I’ve refused to back down so he had to get in with it.
And also because we’ve had NUMEROUS talk in the house about sexism, the role of women in society etc... all of course directed towards the teen dcs but he has learnt (very very slowly)
And finally because I dint give a fuck anymore, have disengaged completely AND have managed to build my health up enough so I can work more and be nearly financially independent so actually he situation is better than it has been in YEARS.

HermioneGoesBackHome Fri 03-Aug-18 17:57:09

Another thing that I realised in the last few days.
I dint know if any of you have done a bit of personal relation study but there is a thing called the Drama Triangle.
In this system you consider that people can communicate in different states and those three states are the Rescuer, the Victim and the Persecutor. If one person is putting themselves as a Rescuer, it often leads the other person to reason as a victim or a persecutor.

Made me think because I think this triangle has been at play very often in my relationship. I’ve tried to help (rescue) H a lot (with the dcs, organisation wise etc...) and he answered as the persecutor having a go at me.....

Maybe that’s also why stepping back (and letting him make mistakes but HIS mistakes) helped too.

themostinterestinglife Fri 03-Aug-18 18:26:39

Yes, Hermione, I recognise that triangle in my relationship also. I would say we started off with me rescuer, him persecutor. Then, when I became unwell after the birth of our child, I could no longer play rescuer and he changed to victim. It was only after divorce - ie when I stepped out and he had to sort his own life - that he had to take responsibility because I wasn't in his triangle anymore. His life at that point became more difficult, whereas mine just kept getting easier.

workinprogressmum Fri 03-Aug-18 19:04:46

That sounds difficult @Hermione.

I too have M.E. and my husband has definitely stepped up on a practical level. He cooks, gets the shopping, takes DS to nursery on his way to work, is responsible for our pets, helps / does bedtime routine... It's taken lots of work but putting in boundaries has helped "I am tired / going for a bath. You need to do x, y, z". Sometimes things get done, sometimes they don't. But at least I get time to myself this way.

Daftasabroom Fri 03-Aug-18 19:29:41

I've just been told "how should I know what I want? It's up to you to sell it to me..."

I know whatever I come up with won't be what she wants, because if if she doesn't have a pretty formed idea, by default she doesn't want it.

Daftasabroom Fri 03-Aug-18 19:30:21

Pre not pretty.

picklemepopcorn Fri 03-Aug-18 19:32:31

Try offering possibles, Daft. So wondering out loud whether x would be better or y, or maybe doing nothing at all. Go through the options several times, on different occasions. See if she joins in, or can give a better answer after a bit of time to assimilate it.

HermioneGoesBackHome Fri 03-Aug-18 19:52:31

Daft that sounds like H presented with ideas of where to go on hols.

In the end, I’m presenting him with ideas and why I think x is best (and why y and z aren’t). And I tell him to have a look himself and give me alternatives. After a while (often quite a few weeks with me saying nothing about said hols), We normally end up doing x.

HermioneGoesBackHome Fri 03-Aug-18 19:54:06

My MIL once explained me that thebest way to deal with her DH (also on the spectrum) is to present him with the idea. Let him reject the idea outright. Leave think. And that he then normally comes back proposing to do <insert her initial idea>
The only she can’t do is to then point out it was her idea in the first place!!

picklemepopcorn Fri 03-Aug-18 20:06:57

That's it exactly! DH tends to say no as a knee jerk reaction, and also struggles to come up with suggestions. It's like severe inertia. Naming the children was hilarious!

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