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Married to someone with Aspergers: support thread 4 (replacement one)(538 Posts)
MNHQ have commented on this thread.
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. Otherwise the thread can be deleted, like Support Thread 4 The Original.
1st thread: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/3281058-Is-anyone-married-to-someone-with-Aspergers
2nd thread: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/3325419-married-to-someone-with-asperger-s-support-group-here
3rd thread: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/a3463341-Married-to-someone-with-Aspergers-Support-group-here-Thread-3
Hi all, this thread is part of a long-running discussion on Mumsnet.
It was originally set up with the following request:
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).
As always, if you're concerned about any post on here, please report it to MNHQ and we'll take a look.
Dunks toe in water.....
Hi everyone! And breathe!
I’ve had my counselling referral through, I start next week. I spoke to her today on the phone & she has experience of counselling spouses of people with HFA. I’m so looking forward to just talking, with no judgement. .
Hope you’re all doing well
I post sporadically, but lurk constantly. So pleased we have this space. I divorced my husband just over two years ago because his behavior was so unsafe for myself and my child to be around, his parenting (or inability to) became a child protection issue. Now, child (early teen) and I are going from strength to strength and totally embracing the freedoms that we now have. After processing the anger and grief at the ending of the family unit, child and I have built a great life for ourselves and are much happier. Sending much support to those of you struggling and trying to find a way through.
It is really important to note the following:
1. The opinions and views of autistic people and being in a relationship with such people on this thread are not necessarily representative of every NT/ASD relationship.
2. Many of the posters on the previous threads had self-diagnosed their partners. Autism diagnosis is not straightforward due to overlapping traits with other conditions - so in some cases autism will not be the correct diagnosis. Of course in some cases it may well be.
3. "High-functioning autism" - HFA - means someone has an IQ of over 70. It does not mean they are extremely clever.
4. It is important to remember that autism is a disability. To get a diagnosis of Asperger's or ASD you need to have suffered a clinically significant impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.
5. There is no connection between Asperger's and violence.
6. Abusive people are just that - abusive people. There can be many reasons why someone can be abusive. Autistic people can be abusive and neurotypical people can be abusive. No abuse is right, ever.
You're welcome Moffa. It was heart-wrenching to come to the realization that my ex was never going to be able to provide what I considered essential ingredients for either marriage or parenting - mainly, a safe environment where basic needs were met. I gave it everything I had, to try and help him to parent, but he just can't. There came a point where my teen and I had to accept that and move on; we adopted the attitude that yes, this is a sad and horrible and unfair set of circumstances, because her father didn't ask to have Asperger's, but fact is he does, and he can't parent. So daughter and I have just cracked on and thrown ourselves into all the best parts of life (sports, friendships, travel, education opportunities) and we have a fab life! Hang in there xxx
Thank you for that comment
ASD partners welcome to lurk or pop in, but please don't argue with other posters and tell them they are wrong
I’m very happy to see that thread carrying on.
Thanks for the new thread OP.
Moffa hope you are having a better day today. Good news on the counsellor!
Themost that's good to read, that you have a.better life now.
I had to take time out because things have been really hard with my Aspie partner.
Because of Aspergers. Because of the traits that come with this particular diagnosed condition. A condition that exists, not because I don't like things he does, not because we think differently, but because he is physically and officially incapable of understanding why people are upset, reading social cues and dealing with change.
Not because he's a horrible person.
I'm so glad we have these threads.
I'm really wondering Autistichedgehog why you are still here. You have been policing these threads since the beginning. I don't know what happened on the last thread to make it explode, so I'm not referring to whatever happened - i don't know if you were involved. You are very fast to give us a list of rules on this thread though.
So, I am wondering why you feel the need to constantly be here to remind us how to speak, remind us what a diagnosis is and remind us that not everybody is the same. We know that. Thank you. So what exactly is it you're here for? Because your last post wasn't supportive, and these threads are for supporting NT partners of people with Aspergers/HFA.
MNHQ email to me about the last thread said to report any concerns to them, so that's what I'll be doing!
I've been quiet for a while. We had an incident a while back which was caused by his relationship to alcohol. All's well, and he's away this week which is probably good for us. We have a life plan we're putting into action this month - the odds of it coming to anything are minimal. If it does work out, it'll be between amazing and a WTF moment.
Just a gentle reminder...
Please don't rehash last night's fallouts.. This thread is a chance to reset and hopefully share experiences and get some support.
If you're worried about any posts, then please do report them and we'll take a look.
If anybody knows where the private, safe place is to discuss things like this (our lives) please PM me.
Hello all, glad to have a new thread for those of us that need it.
I've been a bit quiet too, I go from wanting to love and protect my DH, commit to my marriage vows and keep my family together, to wondering if I can live the rest of my life without an emotional connection and unprompted kindness from my other half. I still don't have the answer to this, but I've now had a second session with a counsellor who specialises in partners of ASD people. She, combined with this thread have really helped my stay sane and give me comfort that I'm not alone.
If anyone wants my counsellor's details, message me and I'll happily send them.
to you all.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I keep going in and out if those threads too. I name change regularly (as a matter of fact, nit because of any particular thread) which doesn’t help either.
I think I’ve reached a point where I don’t care anymore.
The love I had has disappeared. Death by a 1000 cuts really.
It’s a shame because this is the exact moment H has decided to make an effort.
The same issues are there (like the inability to communicate or him not realising some stuff are not acceptable for the dcs to do) but at least the grumpyness and the refusal to see that he doesn’t trump everything (also called our family life revolves around him, his interest and his needs only) have lessen/gone.
It’s too little too late though.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
The one thing that is interesting though is that things improved when I stopped making any allowances for his ‘issues’.
Stopped solving problems for him, giving him answers or protecting him form making mistakes. All of which HE was asking btw. What shall I do with what is left form dinner? was a good example.
Now the only time I intervene is when the dcs are involved and he wants them to do something that is really not safe for them.
Learning by experience has always been the best way for H to learn. Otherwise, whatever I say is wrong because his default position is to not trust me (even for very trivial things)
Learning by experience has always been the best way for H to learn. Otherwise, whatever I say is wrong because his default position is to not trust me (even for very trivial things)
I thought it was just my dh who was like this. For ages it made me feel like he thought I was stupid because he would never trust that I knew what I was talking about, even for like you say very trivial things. I leave him to figure it out himself now too. It stops me from feeling stupid and he never listened me anyway so it was a waste of every ones energy. He does still ask sometimes but I try to bat it back to him.
@ShiteheadRevisited I go from wanting to love and protect my DH, commit to my marriage vows and keep my family together, to wondering if I can live the rest of my life without an emotional connection and unprompted kindness from my other half
This exactly describes my dilemma. I'm heartened to hear counselling is helping as dh and I are at the point of splitting but giving counselling another go with someone experienced in ASD (dh is diagnosed). Where abouts in the UK are you? What do you find most helpful about the counselling?
My head is a mess
Hello everyone. Good to see the new thread.
I keep chipping in with these threads may well have saved my marriage.
Someone asked me on the last thread how I thought the next year might go?
I think it depends. We are rediscovering a love of walking together now that the kids are older. We can chat or be quiet. Sometimes I do ask DH if we can be quiet for a bit after he has been especially intense about special interest.
Some of the hardest times are trying to do damage limitation if kids and him clash. It’s really hard. School refusing DC was really stressed yesterday. DH tried to say that it would be OK but then said, “You’re not in Syria.” If I intervene DH can get really stroppy because I have undermined him in front of kids. But I can’t let some things wait until later because kid with school anxiety needs to hear that I am really on their side .
It’s hard having to deal with kids’ anxieties and then DH’s anxiety about their anxiety.
Kids have combinations of the following (properly diagnosed) - dyspraxia, dyslexia, anxiety, sensory issues, ADHD, ASD so it is hard when they clash with each other or DH.
I'm going to bow out for a while. I believe the name of the thread is going to change sometime soon to make it more medically correct.
I have found somewhere else that is specifically for people in the situation almost all of us find ourselves in. I have previously advocated for keeping these threads going, so that others - like us before we found them - can join. They can read the situations we have and maybe recognise something that explains the pain in their own life. However, these threads exist now. I assume MNHQ will not delete them. So the information is out there.
I believe the place I have found is somewhere where actively unsupportive posts are not allowed and it is moderated by people who have lived through - or have intimate experience with - what our situations are. I can PM this place to anybody who is interested. Personally, I cannot be dealing with fights in the place I come for support.
Thank you to the wonderful people who have given me support and who have shared their experiences too. I'm not flouncing and I may be back when I'm feeling stronger. I just need a different sort of place than what MN can offer right now.
He does still ask sometimes but I try to bat it back to him.
I say, “I don’t know,”or “What do you think?” I try to wander off which works better than:
“STOP asking me. You know. You know what to do. Don’t keep asking me stuff you know. Decide for yourself. You are 50. Don’t ask me.”
That just makes everything worse I find
I'd love to know about the different place. Please pm me.
I agree this space is not safe, and I'm very disappointed with MN in their response.
Internet is down and mobile is poor, so I'll post more fully in due course.
Towards the end of the last thread I was really hit by the huge gulf in communication. Truly as if different languages were being used.
Daft yes! I think it summed up the differences very succinctly. And the fact that the ASD diagnosed posters , (and some other posters) really couldn't see how their world view was EXACTLY what we were actually talking about
Hi @Misty9 - I'll take your lovely flowers, even if they were by accident! Thanks - it's been many years since I received any ￼
I'm in the East Midlands. My counsellor is local but offers a service via Skype/phone too. Alongside her empathy (she has an ASD husband and son), the biggest benefit I have from our sessions is just having someone focus entirely on me for once, asking me how I'm feeling and giving me practical advice about building emotional strength. For example me thinking about where I am happiest (in my home with nobody else here - I work FT so this happens rarely) and trying to make this happen more often. I now work from home once a week and it's given me some extra headspace/makes me content. Also ensuring I have time with good friends at least once a fortnight to meet my emotional connection needs.
Sorry to see you bow out @ChangerOfNameAspieTh
And don't feel you have to go. Nowhere is safe because people use rules instead of intelligence and manners instead of conscience . It is only because they are afraid to stand out. We are governed by those in the grip of fear, from our parliament down. Fuck'em, I say...
Nowhere is safe because people use rules instead of intelligence and manners instead of conscience . It is only because they are afraid to stand out. We are governed by those in the grip of fear, from our parliament down. Fuck'em, I say... smile
Are you OK?
Gauda are you? As from all your past posts, I'm concerned.
@ShiteheadRevisited thank you, that's helpful to know. And here are some intended
And a new thread less than a day old and we have exactly the same problem as yesterday on the old thread. @MNHQ how can you ignore what is happening, yet again?
Are you OK?
I am wonderful, thank you for asking.
@Haffiana hey there. I wasn't sure about rules for posting and I didn't fancy another deletion. But also, I don't want to let certain posters know where I and maybe some others are off to. There are, however, places (or one place I know of right now) where the tone of some of the posts on this thread already are not tolerated at all.
I'm not leaving Mumsnet, just not posting personal stuff in these threads for now. So people can PM me whenever really. Best pm me with the username from this thread though, for obvious reasons!
Or tag me because then I get an email.
Please, if you value the support on this thread, and feel upset by certain posters, do report them to MNHQ every time. That's what MNHQ have said we should do. It's a support thread, so if you feel unsupported do report to MNHQ.
I wonder if Gaudas posts will be deleted as quickly as mine was!
Please report to MNHQ if you don't agree!
Thank you, MNHQ - I am sorry my post was rude. I hope we can get this one back on track, it seemed sucb a useful place to vent and get support.
Name changed. Am reporting posts that are arguing with other posters, telling them they are wrong, and are not supportive as per the intention of this thread.
Heather heathers I think that is good advice. I find the constant questions about random things so draining. And the repetition. Is this water boiling? Is the cat ok? Etc.
We’re going out this weekend (to an event relevant to him). We’ve discussed it at least 3 times in the last week. Last night I asked if I should book a taxi for it & he said ‘where are we going?’ Arrrggghhhhhhhh!
Other than that things have been ok lately. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve shut off any expectations (I’ve had one brief hug this month but haven’t asked for more) but I suspect it is. It definitely feels to me like more of a ‘flatmates’ Relationship now. I still think it will come as a huge shock to him when I leave and I’m sad about that.
Hope you’re all ok & hope we can get this thread fully back on track for those of us that need it
Im loving the idea of a safe place to discuss personal stuff with other like minded people.
But at the same time, I’m passed off the see one or two people actually managing what they set out to do. I hate bowing under pressure and bullying.
And as Changer said those thereads can be life saver. They were for me years ago (some other threads on MN that were hidden away due to similar behaviours). And they are a window for other people to actually learn and understand about autism. That’s how I learnt about autism birth in adults and in children. I vividly remember a thread from a woman whose DH was diagnosed (and working full time) who struggle through making it work and then separating (her DH wanted 50/50 and was simply dangerous to be left with her dc as he had no idea of what was suitable for a child that age. Some scary stories there). And I remember thinking ‘Yes DH is dong that too p. And that. And that’!
So I hope that this thread (and others after?) will carry on. And that I’d they stop, it’s because therebis t as much interest in them. Not because of some outside influence.
Glad to find you.
heather that is good advice. moffa The constant random questions and wittering about nothing does really get to me, it’s like I’m having to think about, and make decisions about, stuff that really doesn’t warrant it.
“Shall I put the dishwasher on? (If it’s full, yes), shall I take this washing upstairs? (If it’s at the bottom of the stairs then yes).”
I do try not to engage with this, because if I bat it back to him, he says “I’m only trying to help” so I find that saying “mmmmm” and wandering off works best for me.
I don’t really have any expectations any more.
@MNHQ Thank you
The new thread is important. Some of us need help and reassurance that we are not alone in our relationships. Support from those in similar situations can make all the difference to our mental stability and give us the strength to carry on each day.
Bluebell, Heather and Moffa
Yes absolutely agree about the inability to make simple decisions wearing you down. " Shall I take a hat today? Do i need a coat? What happens if we can't find somewhere to eat? Etc etc etc. " I say you decide and leave it at that. I'm normally told I'm snapping at him.
I have to say Moffa I’ve come to the conclusion that some aspects of H behaviour is linked with autism. But others are plainly playing the patriarchic script to the limit.
That’s why I’m refusing to get involved in anything that is to do with his special interest/something he wants to do. I’m refusing the play the part of the maid/PA/mother that is organising everything for him and is then held responsible for things ‘not being quite right’ (which they never are).
I had an interesting discussion a couple of years ago with a counsellor. Basically H tends to put himself in the position of a child needing nurturing and help all the time. Which then puts me in the position of a parent (something I tend to do anyway!). The problem is that I then end up being responsible of everything. AND he can switch from the helpless child that needs support to the one who is having a tantrum because things aren’t quite right. As well as being ressentful of being in that position of the child.
That’s another reason why I steppped right back out. I squashed my misgiving/guilt of not being as supportive as I ought to be (because he is disabled, life is hard for him and who am i to not be as supportive as I can of someone who is struggling so much). And started to expect adults type of behaviour instead.
After all, when I got ill and basically disabled myself, he didn’t step up to support me but instead told me I was just lazy and to ‘man up’
I don’t really have any expectations any more.
YY to that. Which is also the sign for me, that our relationhsip is now dead. Whatbis thnpoint of a relationhsip where I get as much out of it as being in my own??
Dropping in to say hi to you all I’ve been reading everything and hope you’re all ok.
Not sure if I’ll post much now the vibe here has been railroaded but let’s see how it goes - I’ve been struggling more in the last month and feel too vulnerable to chat specifics in nothing less than a supportive environment. I need the right audience - in my life I swallow almost every emotion I have, so here there’s a high risk that when my thoughts and feelings come tumbling out they aren’t pretty and considered.
@changer I’ve sent you a PM.
We have a slightly different dynamic in that DW is demand avoidant and of course female which tends to present differently anyway. The common theme though is in lowering or even reversing my expectations.
So rather than have no expectation that she will have gone shopping after work (PT) I expect her not to have gone, and call before going myself. I then get criticised for not getting the right things.
As others have said the result is ever increasing responsibility and resentment at the continual criticism.
Yes to having to swallow every one of your own emotions, as well as having to take responsibility for every single decision. It's exhausting. I suppressed my own emotions and frustrations to protect my daughter; her father had carte blanche to say and do what he wanted under the reasoning that he had Aspergers and therefore his behavior wasn't his fault. I placed myself between him and her and absorbed his hatred and aggression so she wouldn't feel it, until such a time that I was able to leave and remove her and I from that environment. His hatred stemmed from the two of us being a constant reminder that he was unable to function at the same level as NT people; in counselling he realized his aggressive behavior towards us was anger at himself turned outwards. Since divorcing, both my physical and mental health have improved enormously, due to no longer having to be on the receiving end of it.
Just want to say thanks to those who have persevered so far. I do think these threads have been helpful, in my case prompting me to pursue a diagnosis for DH. I didn't recognise him in descriptions of people with ASCs but I did recognise my own feelings in some of the posts from partners on here. That was what first started me on the right track.
I haven't found Different Together or AspergerPartner helpful, in fact the opposite. The extracts I read were too negative and angry.
We're still doing well and along with the insights I've gained here I give credit to an excellent Relate therapist. She's not a specialist in ASC but she's done her reading and adapted her approach to our needs.
I wouldn't recommend Relate, or any couples counselling, to someone whose partner is abusive. If they're not, and couples counselling is an option, you don't necessarily need a specialist. I know another poster had a bad experience with a counsellor who simply reinforced the parent/child or nurse/patient dynamic. That sounds awful but it also sounds like a counsellor who wouldn't be much good to anyone, whether autism was involved or not.
Other than that, I just wanted to say hello and I hope we can re-stabilise the thread.
Salitae Im really happy to see that those threads have helped you/someone make sense of what is happening to you/them.
I really hope that the process with the diagnosis will you both.
I've been away working for a week:
Me: "I miss you...."
DW: "oh, okay, yes, it's been quite quiet here this week."
daftas hugs and what ever else you'd like from the MN list of gifts. I feel for you, I really do xxx
At least when I come home from a trip away, my DH does miss me and registers I've been away! Even though DD is indifferent or actively abusive
@daftas yes similar here! I went away for 11 days with DC, we got back last Tues and I got a 2 sec strained hug and a kiss on the cheek. Nothing since. Since reading up about it all & realising it won’t change I’ve just given up a bit so I don’t even insist on a hug every few days now.
@soverytired I think my H registers I’ve been away but he misses my ‘housekeeper’ role & having all his meals cooked & cleared up. Over the years I’ve slid into the role of doing everything within the home and for the children. Partly my fault for letting it happen but really due to his obsession with working 16 hour days 7 days a week.
Good to see our thread back on track xx
Is anyone still here or did thread 3 see you all off?!
I’m really struggling with the idea of just leaving as it seems cruel but then my sensible brain tells me it’s the safest way as he could get abusive and make it all very difficult for me and the DC. Any advice or thoughts on this very welcome xx
I’m still here, read but don’t post much.
I know what you mean about just leaving, but you know your OH and whether it’s the best way. How he’s likely to react etc
With children involved you can’t afford to get into a situation where you tell him and he becomes abusive, shouty, etc.
If I left, I think I’d leave while he was away.
And I’ve taken your advice, I’m decluttering and selling stuff on eBay.!
Not long now for you.
Just dipping a toe in after a long time lurking with various name changes. Been married 20+ years with frustrations you would all recognise.
I hate the person I am becoming - judgemental, hyper critical and always remembering past slights and mistakes of DH's. How do I recapture my innate kindness? I'm not planning to leave in the immediate future. We still have good times and are reasonably aligned on parenting. I just feel so grumpy and frustrated in so much of daily life.
Daisy I can relate to that too. Hyper critical and always expecting the worse. Being intolerant to H mistakes.
Moffa I’ve been with H for nearly 20 years. Dcs are now teenagers. If I had to do it again, I wouod have left years before.
Before I got ill and unable to look afetr the dcs in my own.
Before my self esteem ended in in the gutter.
I’ve never been worried about H becoming abusive as such. But I was worried about leaving the dcs with him. He was and still is unable to really see what the dcs can and can’t do. And has put them in many unsuitable or dangerous situations. That’s one of the reasons I stayed.
I was also thinking that leaving someone because of a disability was unfair and not right. Surely I couod get over that, be the biggest person, learn about AS and adjust my behaviour so we would be happy and learn to live together happily??
In retrospect, I think me and the dcs wouod have been better if we had divorced long ago. For things to work, you need to have at least some recognition of the issues and some sense of responsibility on BOTH sides. Which he didn’t have.
So glad you are all still here.
@Bluebell the decluttering feels good though doesn’t it! And I had £500 in my paypal balance! Amazing!
@Daisypie I have definitely felt like I have absorbed traits myself - I can be impatient etc - but aware of it now so doing my best to find my ‘old self’.
@Madaboutwands it’s very reassuring to hear others say they should’ve left (I know not great for you) but it helps me.
So update from me, I had my first psychotherapy appointment today. It was so amazing (although I feel emotionally exhausted now). My therapist was so good, I talked & explained and cried (a lot) and told her things I’ve not told anyone. She is experienced in dealing with NT/ASD relationships & is recommending I get 10 sessions with her (the maximum here).
She is supportive of my decision to leave and reassured me over my guilt about leaving and leaving a note. She prioritised my safety & the safety of the DC. She wants to work on regaining my confidence and getting clarity over the relationship etc.
It was a very positive experience for me & for anyone on here considering it I would recommend- even if it’s just because you need someone to talk to.
Big hugs to you all
Oh god yes, the feeling you are taking on their traits, as a result of years of trying to cope with them and talk to them in a way they will understand
What I find is that I am so hard and tough sometimes to DH just to get through to him. I don't like this version of myself.
DD (17) is also ASD and has had a couple of terribly hurtful occasions when friends have dumped her with a list of her faults.
I wish I could treat DH with the compassion and understanding that I want people to extend to our daughter.
I could probably use some support, and I did start my own thread on it. But basically we both have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and we are married, for nearly 19 years, and it's looking bad at this point. He announced a split in January but feels like he can't do because landlady wants to sell the house and he knows how hard it will be for me to get a house on universal credit. I am devastated disrespected, lost all trust, etc. And trying to make plans to move forward without him but sometimes just finding it so scary, all the change. And I worry desperately about the kids. One teen and one tweenage, autistic + more, girls.
Just checking in to say hello to everyone, Daftas, Moffa, everyone else. I don't post here anymore after the recent nonsense as I have found another place without the nonsense but come back to read now and then.
H left a week ago and I am now 100% certain it is the right thing for us. Still a bit sad I couldn't make it ok but we are too different.
My home is once again a sanctuary from the world and my daughter is already happier. It was tough getting there but now we are alone things have improved already.
to all of you.
box well done to you, so glad it’s working out well for you and your daughter.
Thank you so much for starting these threads, they’ve been a lifesaver, despite the nonsense.
Yes Box I’m so happy to read your update and that you and your daughter are already settling in to life without him.
I’ve been reading on the safe place @changer sent and it is lovely to see people posting without fear of recriminations. And interesting that the stay/leave balance is probably 50/50 and there is support and advice for all.
However I hope this thread carries on as there will be people looking for help and support in our circumstances via mumsnet in future. This was where it finally clicked for me. Followed by extensive internet research that confirmed what I thought (and to be fair what my MIL had told me a decade ago before she died).
Plus I’m going to be leaving my H soon and I know I’m going to need some support through the sadness xxx
I’m sorry to read about those of you feeling sad but good to hear that people are moving things forward.
That’s interesting about the 50/50 split on the other forum. Much like on these threads. Much like the whole of the U.K.
Things have been a bit up and down here after a period of quiet. DH had a row with ASD young adult DC. Clash of the titans!
He has a nasty virus at the moment which makes him much less tolerant (of course) but it’s still hard.
I read this and loved it so thought I'd pop back to share (was here at the beginning). Hope the link works...
picklemepopcorn - That was lovely, thank you!
I think it was on the last thread that someone mentioned rules, and I didn't take much notice as DP's not that much of a rule maker. However, I was reminded of it last week and had to laugh.
We generally don't sleep in the same bed. We used to more, when we first met and had to, but now we live together we have separate rooms. I assumed he didn't like sharing a bed (he has said as much) and wasn't too bothered, though I'd sneak the odd night in with him as I love the closeness. A couple of weeks ago he said he didn't actually mind me being with him, so long as I don't spend the night cuddled up to him as he gets too hot fair enough, plus, he's on the Spectrum so doesn't want to be touched). But he then went on to moan that the last time I'd been in with him he'd got annoyed that I hadn't turned over quickly enough, as he'd needed to be on his other side and didn't want to be breathing in my breath. I pointed out that, since I'd been asleep, it wasn't exactly my fault I hadn't turned over to his unspoken order! I'm not sure he totally got it. So since then, whenever I have slept with him I've made sure I'm on the very edge of the bed so he has the rest to stretch out in. Not the most relaxing nights I could have!
We're trying to conceive atm. His attitude towards it is very much as you'd expect - scientific rather than romantic. And then he wonders why I burst out laughing at inopportune moments!
@pickle - that is a lovely article, although I think she has a lot more patience than me!
@timeihadanamechange - good luck TTC! We struggled ttc but that was one area where my H was great because he didn’t had an emotional reaction to the failures and was able to plough on month after month!
Hope everyone is doing well!
I had my second therapy session yesterday. Talked more and I didn’t cry this time so maybe I’m making progress?! She taught me some relaxation exercises for when my anxiety explodes (my racing heart) and I felt less emotionally drained this time. I feel it’s really helping.
I also saw a solicitor who gave me some great advice about handling the split kindly (as that is what I want most!) and as my H doesn’t react emotionally I’m really hoping when all is said and done we will be friends and get on better than we do now. Time will tell!
to you all xx
I've just scanned back through this thread- I'm so sorry to see you had an explosive derailing again. I'm glad you've found other places which feel safer, and that you have found support here in general.
There is an NLP rule along the lines of 'the person with the most flexibility is the person in the strongest position'. It's been a real help to me to realise that by bending out of the way of confrontations, I'm showing my strength. Being too focused on one outcome, technique, priority just causes disappointment, I find!
Emotional yoga rules!
My xh had a diagnosis of aspergers. In the end the total lack of any kind of compassionate/emotional or cognitive empathy took it's toll. He could never see my perspective or understand why I felt the way I did. I had to conform to his emotional state at all times or he was violent. Any single challenge caused a cascade of abuse that he would refuse to apologise for. It was all excused because he has Aspergers and he had every right to behave in any way he wanted to. I just had to wear it.
I'm moved on but I suppose if there's one thing that bugs me is. Did he torture me on purpose? He wasn't a stupid man. He knew his behaviour wasn't acceptable, he knew he was making me depressed. He did it anyway. Thoughts?
SixDot941 - I'm no expert but to me it sounds as though he was being abusive rather than Aspergic. I'm basing this on the fact that not onlydid he use the Asperger's to justify his behaviour, but he carried on despite knowing it was causing you pain.
My undiagnosed DP has caused me pain over the years but a lot of the idea he has no idea whatsoever that he is doing so. And yes, I honestly believe that this is the case. We're at the point where if he is behaving like this I pull him up on it. It's quite scary telling someone who's apparently really angry with you and has ignored you for the last few days to pull themselves together and snap out of it, but it does work with him. I think it's sucessful partly because, if there is any thought behind his behaviour, it's along the lines that he thinks he's protecting me, and partly because he finds it so hard to read people so thinks I should be the same.
Generally, though, as soon as he realises his behaviour is having a negative effect on me he changes what he's doing.
@sixdot there are without question elements of my relationship which are abusive. My H has the unfortunate combination of both (undiagnosed) Aspergers and a toxic upbringing. The thing is I can see the things that are caused by his upbringing because he has a brother (less than a year younger than him) who behaves in a similar pattern, but who is much more emotive & tactile in his personality.
I think some of the abusive traits of my husband are caused by his need to be safe/minimise etc. For example if we go out (quite rarely these days!) he throws a tantrum if I don’t know the exact details regarding dress code, attendees, food & drink situation and the exact time we will be coming home. He can be pretty vile to me actually. This would be abusive but now I understand that he is going out of his safe zone (which would be yet another night on the sofa watching Masterchef!)
So I can’t really answer your question/thought process but I understand it xx
Thank you. You both helped more than you think.
My xh's behaviour was not because he was out of his comfort zone. He was the worst at home behind closed doors. His worst reactions were for being challenged for the way he treated me. In the end he divorced me for having a total mental collapse.
What both of you describe are people who do control not to reduce you but out a haywire sense of protecting themselves and you. Funnily enough I can 100% get that. You describe much stronger behaviours but they are still similar to my current dp who has anxiety and he's lovely in every way but very shouty when he's anxious.
Really the answer is that just like everyone people with ASD can be good people or bad people. My xh was a bad one, which is how I felt but I didn't know if I should give him the benefit of the doubt.
@sixdot. I think I was close to total mental breakdown in January. That is what lead me to therapy which is helping me feel stronger and rebuild my self esteem while I figure out how I am going to do what I need to do for my future happiness. Maybe some therapy would help you? X
We've been divorced a while and I'm ttc with my dp. I did three months in a psych hospital, day hospital and therapy and I came off meds last month. All is wonderful for me, now xh is gone.
I think just abstractly I wonder whether my xh has a right to ascertain that I was the abusive one. I did nothing but try to help him up. I helped him get through university (including paying for it), I sorted out his friend messes, I helped him stay close to his family, I encouraged his independence, to be social and have hobbies, I kept house (until I was too depressed to continue). There is never a time I wasn't there for him emotionally or physically.
I did have my own issues but I didn't abuse him. I didn't do anything that would harm him but he gave me several serious injuries as well as causing my mental and physical health to collapse.
It's all my fault to him because I didn't do enough for him. That I was a terrible person because I didn't live up to his perfect fantasy of who his wife would be. I'm a human, and a very messy one at times but my dp assures me there is nothing in how I act that isn't more than "bitches be crazy" (ie you're being a woman, dear).
Ok based on that (your time in hospital) I wasn’t at the same point but it was the lowest I’ve ever been - at the point where I realised I needed help. When I read about Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome I had the lightbulb moment (or rather, shivers went down my spine).
Bless you, you’ve been through so much and I’m glad things are good for you now and you have a new happier relationship. I wouldn’t spend another minute worrying about your xh and what was caused by ASD or otherwise. Quite clearly the relationship was no good for you and you’ve come/are coming through it. Lots of for you xxx
I just read about OTRS. That's exactly it. Completely in every single way. It was like being completely drained away until I didn't exist. I'm a really emotional, nurturing person, I'm sensitive.
Now it makes perfect sense that I perceive things from my dp as rejection when he's genuinely not heard me or that I get angry when I think "he's telling me how to feel" when he's trying to ask how I feel.
I wish this was a better known syndrome. My psychiatrist identified xh as the issue but he couldn't work him out. I couldn't see how that had happened given that in all other aspects I had a perfect life. He was perfect to other people, no one could see what I was saying about him. I got sick of hearing that he wasn't like that. I never felt like a could escape because his functioning depended on me. He was like an angry three year old at home but a fully functional adult to everyone else.
I feel lightened by reading that. I feel I had a "normal" experience.
I am very sad that, you (*@moffa*) are still in it. You deserve better than that but I accept that you have to resolve your feelings about him and the relationship. Don't let it drive you too far down. You definitely haven't disappeared, I see you 🤗
Thank you @sixdot - I was drowning but I’m piecing myself back together slowly with the help of my family & a few select friends.
I agree, I wish it was better known and understood. It was this thread that lead me to reading about it. I actually printed it all out and took it with me when I went to see my GP. That was good as I spent the whole time sobbing - so at least I could show her what I needed help with. When I had my NHS assessment, they referred me to the domestic abuse team but I very specifically said I needed someone who had experience of ASD and it’s effects on spouses. My therapist is very knowledgeable about this thankfully, she understands the effects of OTRS and PTSD within relationships and after just 2 sessions I’m feeling different. I can’t really explain it. Maybe it’s the realisation that no one can change my situation except me.
Now for me it’s just how I go about it but what I’m hoping for is ultimately a friendship and some kind of co-parenting. Despite the fact he has hurt me consistently for a decade, because of the ASD I don’t want to end up in a blame game with him. I don’t think he has any idea that his behaviour is damaging to me. But it’s hard, and the immediate future is hard.
And as for what you said about how others saw your H, I am sure that most people think my H is a charming (slightly eccentric) workaholic. And the angry 3 year old thing - it’s just impossible to argue with someone who can’t ever admit they are wrong. When I didn’t understand his behaviour I started keeping notes so I can at least look back - hopefully without regret.
It’s a terrifying time. Leaving a marriage is awful. But we only get one life.
Go for what you want! Xxx
I don't know if this is the right place to post, but when I've read posts so much sounds familiar. The question I have is how do I cope emotionally when I have no emotional connection in my marriage?
A couple of weeks ago my DH said he wouldn't need feeding on Sunday as he was going out walking for the day with a friend he was going on a walking holiday with, I was shocked as I didn't know he was going on holiday! Oh it's in the family diary he said. He'd done what he felt he needed to do i.e. putting the information in a diary but for me I feel upset that I am in a marriage where we communicate in such a way. We only talk about practical matters, there is no conversation that I need.
Sport was on the TV last weekend, our DS was visiting and the DH talked and talked, but the subject was football.
How do I cope with my needs being ignored? If I return from an event, day out, hospital visit I am never ask how it went, did I have a good time, what did the doctor say? If I'm having a rant about a difficult day at work, he will just sit there and after a while cut me off by walking off or hiding behind the newspaper. We never talk about what is important to me. I want to be able to talk about the future, retirement. These are topics I'm frightened off. Difficult subjects. I want to talk about what's important to me but I get silence. I've just woken from a dream where I felt I was being rejected by him hence the time on this post!
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