Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Married to someone with Asperger's? Support group here!(932 Posts)
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.)
My partner was very giving sexually. He focussed on me and my pleasure. It took a while until he accepted that his pleasure was as important to me. My sexual drive was higher than his but I was ok with this and never put pressure on him. I didn't find him mechanical and the last few times, we definitely made love, which I never thought would happen. Is this possible for others?
I also had a relationship with a man who had ASD. He was insatiable. His sex drive was through the roof. However, I would definitely say it was mechanical.
I can't link now but at the beginning of thread 3 I've linked to this and the first thread.
Maybe growing up with a family that treated you like you were the problem lead you to marry someone who also treated you like that. Please trust yourself.
I am so happy to have found this thread. It answers so many questions. Six years ago, I fell madly, deeply in love with my husband. Here was this brilliant engineer who enjoyed psychoanalysis, feminist theory, progressive politics, french films, good food and wine, and so much more. I had been in many relationships throughout my teens and twenties, but had never felt like this. I was pregnant within seven months, and we were married shortly after.
It turned out that my H was badly damaged by the abuse and neglect he had suffered as a child. His mother once got arrested and left him and his little brother in their apartment for a week; she didn't tell the authorities they were there. They were 5 and 3. They ate raw meat out of the fridge and somehow got through it before being found. This is just one story to illustrate the abuse.
Really from the beginning, H would lose his temper and be nasty and cruel over seemingly nothing, and I thought it was because of what he had been through, and also because of his alcohol dependency. The episodes were usually a result of him doing social things with family and friends. Other times, it was intense jealousy and suspicion--I had had a brief flirtation with another guy a few months into our relationship, and he thought it had been much more serious. I didn't see then how crazy his response was. For years he would get drunk and call me a whore, a slut, all kinds of things. He didn't do the cliche thing abusers do to try and win me back with flowers and apologies; instead, the fight would linger until I got over it. And he would be confused as to why I was upset in the days that followed, attributing it to me being a drama queen.
Why did I stay? I guess I was feeling a little helpless at the time. I had a health problem I didn't know about, only knew that I felt exhausted, sore, and weak a lot of the time. I thought it might be psychosomatic. It took me four years to receive a diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which had wreaked havoc on my endocrine system since childhood. I had always been sickly, but it got bad when my children were born. By this time, I had an infant and could barely hold her or walk because of the muscle weakness and pain in my joints. H told me over and over again that I was lazy and selfish and just wanted someone else to "do my job for me." I know I should have left, but I knew I couldn't work and take care of her and my daughter from a previous marriage. (I know, I know. What was I thinking jumping right into a new one?) We had bought a house together and I got pregnant again. H became obsessed with two things: his career and alcohol. He wouldn't help keep up the house or the yard or the parenting, claiming they were MY house and MY yard and MY kids and he hadn't wanted all that stuff--I had--so what was I complaining about? But let me tell you, good God did I love this man. I still do. There would be stretches of weeks, sometimes a month, where he wouldn't rage, and I was so grateful for that that I didn't put up a fight. I thought if I could be kind enough, loving enough, pretty enough, interesting enough, and all of that, he would finally treat me like I was special.
He did buy me nice jewelry on holidays. That I will give him: just really good taste in jewelry. It wasn't the jewelry so much as what it represented--that he did love me, even though he didn't show it.
Going on vacations and doing family things like just going to the park together was painful. He was tense and on edge and would almost kind of punish me for "making" him "do all this stuff for me"--it's like he had no concept for us being a family together and all reaping the benefits of that. Sure, raising little kids is hard. The sacrifices, the loss of identity, the grunt work--it is hard! But they are so precious and the time goes so fast. As you're probably picking up on by now, I'm a sentimental person to a fault. Eventually, I stopped asking him to come with us, even to the pool down the street, because it just wasn't worth the tension. I could tell that it wore on the children because they could tell he seemed angry.
About a year ago, H started threatening to leave me anytime we fought. I didn't want to lose him, and I didn't want our kids to grow up without their dad. So I buried my resentments, and of course that would come out passive aggressively and in outbursts. Finally, I decided I needed to look carefully at how much of my heart I had given to him. I decided to take my heart back, piece by piece. And I told him this--I told him, "I am going to start putting my emotional energy elsewhere. I do not know if this is a process I can reverse once it's done."
His response? Something along the lines of: "Good. Get a hobby. Get a girlfriend. (I'm bisexual) I don't care--just leave me alone."
I began to ignore H the way he had ignored me over the years. I stopped asking about his day, smiling when he came into the room, being his cheerleader, telling him how wonderful he was, doing little things to make him feel special. It seemed clear he did not want these things from me. And at first, he seemed relieved.
But then, it started to wear on him. It turned out he didn't like being treated the way he had always treated me. Now, when he said, "You don't care about me. You don't do anything for me," it carried water. It wasn't just a projection.
I told my husband recently that if he threatened to leave me again, that would be the end. And this is what happened. He had gotten up before me, and the puppy ("my" puppy, along with "my" kids, "my" house, "my" yard, and all of the other stuff we apparently didn't share) had pooped in the bed. I asked what he was thinking when he got up and didn't take her out. He said, "What I'm thinking right now is that I can't wait until I don't have to be with you anymore."
And I told him I would pack his bag, which is what I did.
Of course he threw a tantrum, and of course none of it made sense. Apparently, I'm not a real Christian. I just go to church to impress people. Which is bizarre to me, because I lack material pride to a fault. Why would I want to impress a couple thousand people I don't even know at a mega-church? Just bizarre. And I'm spoiled. To which I responded, "Yes, I am just drowning in affection and love and support and all the wonderful things that come with being married to you."
Which, I know what he means. He brings home a nice paycheck, and I get to stay home all day with my three kids and have fun changing diapers, changing the litter box, doing laundry, driving them around, doing 100% of the planning and maintenance, and making sure he has a bomb meal at the end of the day.
Also, he can't wait for when the neighbors find out "I'm too lazy to drive MY kids (not our kids) to school." Keeping in mind that I have narcolepsy, so it's unsafe for me to drive in the morning. But no, I'm actually just selfish.
Oh, and I don't "do anything for him."
I don't "care about him."
Which is to say, I'm not deeply invested in long conversations about his true passion--his career--and all the dysfunction and interpersonal problems that everyone else causes him at his job. Because you know...of course it's not him.
I did say something mean about his weight. I feel bad about that comment. It was a low blow. He had just finished telling me how lazy I am, what a POS I am, and how he can't wait to be with someone who actually deserves him. And I told him maybe he should lose some weight first--he's gone from being trim with nice muscles when we met to flabby and obese, and while this alone doesn't bother me, the implications of it do. I'm not interested in a life with someone who is going to drop dead at 55 from heart disease, who for the next 20 years won't get off his butt to do anything active with me or put physical effort into our yard or home--the "guy stuff" that he expects me to take care of, as well.
So when our girls came home from their sleepover, they saw his suitcase sitting there, and I said, "Daddy is going to go stay somewhere close to his work for awhile."
To which he replied, "Mommy is making me leave because I'm too fat and won't take care of her dog for her." (During our blowout, I made a comment about his weight after he called me a lazy, worthless POS. I know, very classy.) But to say this to our little girls, who are 8 and 4. It's just cruel.
Then said, "Do you want to leave and I will stay here?"
Which is bizarre, just bizarre, because he has never had all three children on his own for more than 12 hours. He did keep our son for a full weekend a few months ago, but that's the only overnight thing he's ever done. Which, when I brought that up the other night because I've arranged for my mom to watch the kids for me to visit a friend for a weekend, he said he could do it, and I said it might not be a good idea because he's never had them for more than 12 hours. Which he said, sure he has. He's watched them full weekends. Which has never once happened, even at the height of my sickness when I couldn't walk without holding onto something.
Some curious things to add:
1. He's never expressed concern for our health problems, which my disorder being genetic, I have passed it on to all three of the children. He hasn't invested at all in helping me get them care. He truly seems not to care.
2. He's always said I don't "do anything for him." Which, finally I figured out what he meant was, give him a lot of time alone to indulge in his obsessions, I think? I would ask, what would you like me to do? And he would say, "I want you to stop being a terrible person. You're a spoiled brat." Like, those words verbatim. He says I walk away when he is trying to talk to me--usually because dinner is cooking and our toddler just pooped and there is someone at the door and I've been pushing myself for 12 hours straight and my back is about to give out on me. He can't even see that though--all he sees is what a child sees. "Mommy's too busy for me, she doesn't care about me."
3. When I went into labor with our son, he took me to the hospital, then went to drop the girls off with the sitter. He didn't return for 4 hours. The night our son was delivered, he left the hospital to go home and work. Just bizarre.
4. I once had a seizure in front of him. He stepped around me to go into the other room.
5. He told me the other night that it's not that he wants to be alone all the time. He simply prefers it to "dealing with me." He said this flatly and calmly, with no anger whatsoever. He said, "It's not that I don't know what you want. Like when you are sick, to ask if you are OK. I just don't feel like it because I'm upset with you."
Ok, well this is long, but I'm glad I put it in words. It helps me see the insanity of the situation, that I would allow myself to be treated like this. I'll say one thing: it's really helped me to get rid of my victim mentality. I'm the one who put up with it, who blamed myself, who excused it, who let it go on. I can own that, and that will help me to move on. Do I still love him? Yes. Very much. But like the song goes, sometimes love just ain't enough.
Ok, now that I've posted my "why I left my husband" manifesto, I feel like I should add some of the positives. Because that is what has made this whole experience so confusing.
1. H is sometimes kind, gentle, and even subtly loving.
2. He is often patient and involved with the children, reading to them and playing with them.
3. He has put an incredible amount of effort into trying to change and be "enough for me," as he puts it. For him, doing the dishes a few nights a week, driving the kids to school, and the other concessions he has made seem incredibly draining. So it must feel like a big sacrifice. He even went with me to my mother's last weekend and talked to my brother and stepdad about basketball for two hours.
4. Even though he seems indifferent to me most of the time; he treats me more like a pet cat than a wife. Yet I can sense that he loves me and truly does not want to lose me. But he doesn't put effort into keeping the romance, or even the friendship alive. It's like he doesn't know that relationships atrophy without maintenance just like everything else in this world.
5. When we talked yesterday, he said he doesn't understand why I was so angry on Friday and Saturday. I reminded him of the blow-out fight we had on Thursday, which he literally didn't remember. He didn't make any attempt to make up with me, didn't even sleep with me that night. Then on Saturday, I came downstairs--he had gotten up with the kids and I slept in--and the house was utterly trashed, and I was angry and made everyone clean up. But to him, there's no cause-and-effect understanding. It's just me being unpredictable and unreasonable. I can not for the life of me wrap my head around it.
6. He is constantly mentioning "everything he does for me."
Oops, I pressed "post message" by accident. So anyway, back to #6.
He is constantly mentioning "everything he does for me." When I ask him point blank what that is, he says he's always available to listen when I need to talk, he works, he pays for my life, and he takes care of the kids. It's like he understand that women like to be taken on dates, smiled at, hugged and kissed, told they are special, given flowers, to do the little things together like shopping and yard work--even my birthday, last year was the first year he did anything for it. He said he didn't know I wanted to celebrate my birthday. Then last Valentine's Day, he didn't get me a gift. He said, "I didn't know we did gifts on Valentine's Day," even though he has given me a piece of jewelry sometime within two weeks after V-Day for the past 5 years. (He forgets and then orders it the day before or on V-Day.) So yeah, I really don't understand. But I guess it doesn't matter anymore.
@Marishimo hi there. You've been through a difficult - such a lot to deal with.
I thought you should know this is an old thread so you probably won't get many replies here. It sounds too like your best bet is to copy and paste this into a post on the relationships forum, or if you're sure he has Aspergers, to do a search for thread 4 (the most recent of these).
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.