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Married to someone with Aspergers: support thread 4 (replacement one)

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MNHQ have commented on this thread.

changerofnameaspiethread Tue 05-Mar-19 11:50:53

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.

Previous threads:
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

IntentsandPorpoises Tue 23-Apr-19 18:19:04

@AutisticHedgehog but if you write down all the behaviours towards me you see a pattern of emotional abuse. Blaming, criticism, inflexibility, outbursts. If you add the autism then it explains the reason. For my H it is anxiety linked to his autism that causes these behaviours.

But for me the effect is the same as if it were emotional abuse. My autistic H agrees with this and takes full responsibility for these behaviours. He is trying to address his anxieties and explain more to me why he might react in that way.

My dd with ASD also physically assaults me quite regularly because of her autism. It hurts jusy as much regardless of the cause. And sometimes I break and find it unbeatable, because I am human having some repeatedly assault you is hard, even if you know the cause.

unicornsandponies Tue 23-Apr-19 18:22:34

Oh here we go again.

PicsInRed Tue 23-Apr-19 18:39:34

It's literally like a discussion with my ex.
hmm

AutisticHedgehog Tue 23-Apr-19 18:41:57

intents thank you for a polite response.

The problem is there is no evidence at all to link autism and violence. If an autistic person is violent, studies have shown that it is linked to other issues such as ADHD and other personalities disorders.

And in terms of anxiety - our anxiety is triggered by having to try fit in with neurotypical expectations - so I could argue that NT’s “abuse” me (which they don’t as I know that in most cases it is not deliberate - if I ignore school bullying)

So I do not think it is fair in any way whatsoever to link violence and Asperger’s/HFA.

I really would have preferred to engage in a constructive manner but responses such as the one directly below yours (along with the whole load of abuse I got on thread 1 - most of which has been deleted) means that has not been possible. Too many people want to polarise this debate and that’s not helpful.

I think both “sides” need to sit and listen as they’re BOTH getting it wrong and causing hurt. It’s just that our hurt is much harder to see.

I really do not want a fight. I hate conflict.

GaudaofEda Tue 23-Apr-19 18:58:38

our anxiety is triggered by having to try fit in with neurotypical expectations - so I could argue that NT’s “abuse” me

Theory of Pathological Demand Avoidance -

Rational response to external demands and control which does not match internal demands. (so if I understand correctly e.g. NT coercing AS to behave like a NT which is not needed and counterproductive results in avoidance)
Pathologising resistance

kar.kent.ac.uk/67064/1/PDA%20and%20alternative%20explanations.pdf
Slide 4

The Discourse of PDA and my initial critique
(Milton, 2013)
• ‘Nature’s answer to over-conformity’ and
‘rational demand avoidance’ from the autistic
perspective.
• Pathologising resistance – who was it who had
a need to control?
• The issue of self-identity.
• The issue of internal demands were not being
discussed in the literature at this time and so I
was not able to comment on it.

Soverytiredofeverythinggoingon Tue 23-Apr-19 19:40:38

And your point is?

So someone publishes a "critique" of an accepted diagnosis of a version of ASC, and you think that is somehow a fact? Its status is described as "unpublished" its a pdf from a presentation at a meeting, its NOT from a peer reviewed publication ?

"Milton, Damian (2018) Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) and alternative explanations:
a critical overview. In: PARC meeting, 15th May 2018, London, UK. (Unpublished)"

colouringinpro Tue 23-Apr-19 19:51:19

Autistic i dont think intents is trying to link autism and violence but is a simple fact that some autistic people lash out, and amongst adolescents with ASD it is not uncommon.

GaudaofEda Tue 23-Apr-19 20:00:36

I explicitly presented it as a theory of PDA, not a fact.

The publication itself is in references:
Milton, D. (2013) Natures answer to over-conformity: a deconstruction of Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA). In D. Milton (2017) A Mismatch of Salience: Explorations in autism, from theory to practice. Hove: Pavilion Press.

PDA is not an 'accepted diagnosis'. It is contested because there is an overlap with non autistic types. The presentation indeed reflects this discussion.

To the point of listening and having a dialogue, this theory could suggest a happier family life for both AS and NT could be found in accepting each-other for who we are and listening and recognising communication signals and needs in the way they are authentically expressed, i.e. for autistic people in autistic language. Understanding each-others language and needs, not micromanaging and imposing NT expectations.

PDA is not recognised as a disorder and one theory - the latest, is that it is avoidance and resistance to demands being put on the autistic person when these demands are totally externally motivated and have no internal value, are too removed from internal needs, priorities, and functioning. For example when they are forced to behave in a NT way when there is no internal value and demand for that. This could potentially trigger PDA and exacerbate things.

A theory, published.

GaudaofEda Tue 23-Apr-19 20:01:58

autistic people communicating in autistic language that is

IntentsandPorpoises Tue 23-Apr-19 20:05:08

My daughter is 6 and her violent outbursts were discussed as part of her autism diagnosis. When she has a meltdown and can't cope she often lashes out. She bites me, punches me, kicks me. She is mortified afterwards and clearly tells me she loves me.

I need this thread. Really, really need it. It has helped me develop the self confidence to realise I don't deserve the criticism, blame, gaslighting. Please don't take it away from me with the same arguments.

Soverytiredofeverythinggoingon Tue 23-Apr-19 20:07:34

The NAS say at the start of their webpage on Challenging behaviours
"Some autistic people can display challenging behaviour. It includes what would normally be considered physically aggressive behaviour, but can also include other behaviours if they are having a negative impact on the person or their family."

Yes it goes on to describe various coping strategies, which family members can invoke or use to try to be of help, and to protect themselves - but the bottom line is that the behaviour is challenging!

Soverytiredofeverythinggoingon Tue 23-Apr-19 20:07:50

www.autism.org.uk/about/behaviour/challenging-behaviour.aspx

Moffa Tue 23-Apr-19 20:25:17

My H did an online test & scored quite highly. It has piqued his interest as he wants to look into a professional diagnosis now. I’m glad as at least then we can understand his behaviour more. I don’t think I’ll ever go back which makes me so sad for all the hopes & dreams that are lost but I’m sure we’ll all cope somehow.

I can’t live in an emotionless state, it will make me physically & mentally ill. I have to set myself free.

GaudaofEda Tue 23-Apr-19 20:28:55

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AutisticHedgehog Tue 23-Apr-19 20:31:39

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Moffa Tue 23-Apr-19 20:35:13

My H is absolutely not violent but he will hit/punch inanimate objects when triggered.

Like @intents the abusive (or damaging behaviour- thanks @daft) is linked to his HFA as it’s always when I push him out of his comfort zone/daily routine. I just didn’t know that until I clicked on to the earlier threads & read up on it.

IntentsandPorpoises Tue 23-Apr-19 20:36:55

NAS and most places don't distinguish. There is only ASD now, not Aspergers. It doesn't exist as a distinct diagnosis. I consider my H to have autism.

GaudaofEda Tue 23-Apr-19 20:40:19

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GaudaofEda Tue 23-Apr-19 20:47:44

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AutisticHedgehog Tue 23-Apr-19 20:48:28

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AutisticHedgehog Tue 23-Apr-19 20:53:58

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SophieLMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 23-Apr-19 21:14:24

Just wanted to echo Michael's earlier post:

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).

- Please do keep this in mind when posting.

Thanks flowers

Soverytiredofeverythinggoingon Tue 23-Apr-19 21:59:39

Thank you @MNHQ flowers

Daftasabroom Tue 23-Apr-19 22:50:07

Having had a pretty tough Easter, we're back to the daily routine and DW is all happiness and light.

Moffa Wed 24-Apr-19 15:09:44

Hi all,

So H is now actively seeking a diagnosis. It feels crazy as whenever I mentioned before that he was differently-wired he was very dismissive but now I’ve left it feels like he knows that he has HFA and is keen for answers. However he saw online that a private diagnosis can be £1500 so that stopped him in his tracks a bit. Has anyone been through this?

Also, I think the online aspergers test cannot work properly as we all have ideas & perceptions about ourselves. H believes he is flexible & sociable. I would say he is a stickler for routine (anything else triggers anger) and is awkward socially and avoids social events that don’t involve people he likes and knows. That said, he still scored above average! He also commented that the questions weren’t right - which did make me laugh 🙄 So typical! 😂

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