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He doesn't pay attention unless I shout

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Desperadoo Mon 08-Feb-21 08:38:00

Please be kind.
I'm already feeling volatile about this and loathe myself for the way I'm behaving.

DH doesn't listen to me unless I'm shouting at him. He literally pays no attention. He doesn't remember conversations we've had, says "ok" to my requests but doesn't follow through or just blatantly ignores me.

There was a situation last week whereby he had asked me to arrange something for him. I did it, but he criticised the way I'd done it. I tried explaining that he hadn't communicated specifically what he needed from me, but he couldn't grasp what I was saying at all and I ended up shouting to get him to listen. I feel invisible unless I'm shouting.

I asked him specifically and calmly to stop lunging the children at me when they were playing "flying" on the sofa. I had a pen in my hand and was trying to write a shopping list. The pen almost poked DC in the eye so I requested he stop. He then did it again and the pen poked DC in the eye. I shouted angrily at him and found myself repeating "why do I need to shout to be listened to?!"

Then I've specifically asked him to take DCs out on a Sunday morning for an hour or 2 so that I can clean the house. I'm not asking him to do any cleaning, just take them out and I will do it. He would usually take them swimming at this time pre lockdown so it's when I get the cleaning done. I don't mind doing it provided I have the space to.We've had several conversations around this, reminders etc. He always nods away. We are in a bubble with his Mother, so he has somewhere to take them even if the weather is bad.
Yesterday, after cleaning upstairs, I came downstairs and the house was a tip, I asked him to tidy up so I could clean assuming he would be taking DCs out as usual (they are very small so cause more mess as I'm cleaning and it becomes an impossible task, hence him needing to take them out). I went for a shower instead believing he was tidying and getting them ready to leave the house, came back downstairs and the house was even more of a tip and he proclaimed "we're not going out today."

I found myself reminding him of the copious amount of conversations we've had around this and he glazed over as if they'd never happened. He then said that he would clean and watch DCs at the same time, no big deal. Completely missing the point that Sunday mornings are my time to get a bit of space and quiet to do a few jobs. I even had to use the analogy of me keeping DCs away from his office so that he can work during the week and that I needed the same from him on a Sunday morning for 2 hours.

He just came at me with counter arguments. I lost my temper and shouted in his face. I felt like my head was going to explode as he failed to listen to anything I was saying despite all the conversations we've had around this. I ended up crying and going out for 4 hours on my own to calm down. I've been up most of the night feeling ashamed of myself for losing my temper so much recently. On the other hand, this man just does not take in anything I'm saying unless I'm shouting. This isn't who I want to be.

In general life, he appears to need a lot of sensory stimulation. He's extremely loud himself, always has big bright lights on, loud music, makes big movements. I'm starting to wonder if small sounds, calm requests just have no impact on him, like he just can't hear them. I'm starting to wonder if he has a sensory problem? He would also do what I would describe as 'stimming' so I believe there could be a problem.

I've found that the only way I can avoid getting so angry with him is complete emotional distance from him and me treating him as I would an employee, dishing out regular black and white instructions and sharing the DCs in seperate time slots where we're not around each other. This isn't the way I want to live at all.

His parents tell me that he's never been much of a communicator. I feel I'm communicating very clearly but still not getting my needs met. I'm worried that I'm losing my mind sometimes. How do I relate to and navigate life with someone who follows their own unspoken agenda without much thought for much else?

OP’s posts: |
StephenBelafonte Mon 08-Feb-21 08:43:47

He sounds like hard work sad

Twisique Mon 08-Feb-21 10:03:38

There is a support thread that might be useful for you. It may be helpful or rule somethings out. I found it helpful to know I wasn't the only one. Search for married to someone with aspergers thread 5.

Desperadoo Mon 08-Feb-21 13:14:09

I've looked at the thread @twisique I see some similarities. My own father was undiagnosed autsitic and would deny my sense of reality a lot.

I thought I'd consciously chosen someone much different 😪

OP’s posts: |
wheresmycrown Mon 08-Feb-21 13:18:14

Sorry to hear this @Desperadoo I have no advice but I do have empathy because this is exactly what my relationship with my mum is like. I have to scream at her before she pays any attention to me. I hate it. I rarely shout but she will completely ignore anything I'm saying until I end up seeing red and then look pained like I'm the one with the problem.

Solidarity x

Yogatomorrow Mon 08-Feb-21 13:42:29

Another one here! My dh is the same. It is very frustrating communicating with him. I try to write things down on the calendar, get him to repeat any plans back to me. I get accused of treating him like a child...which of course i am, but it seems to force some things to stick and avoid a bigger argue later.

cerealgamechanger Mon 08-Feb-21 13:58:20

I could've written this @Desperadoo. We're in couples counselling as a result. I've become a horrible version of myself and I don't like it. He, on the other hand, doesn't see what it is I'm getting annoyed about. I don't think I can cope much longer with his incompetence so am seriously contemplating a separation after lockdown.

Aquamarine1029 Mon 08-Feb-21 14:01:15

I couldn't live like this, and I certainly wouldn't want my children growing up thinking this is a normal way adults communicate with each other and/or how a marriage is supposed to be. All of this stress and resentment is going to ruin your mental health.

Desperadoo Mon 08-Feb-21 14:03:06

I'm also contemplating separation @cerealgamechanger
We tried couples counselling once and the counsellor wanted to convince me that all organising should fall to me because DH wasn't capable. She made implications around him having aspergers too by questioning if anyone in his family had it. This went over his head and he still doesn't realise he has it. Counsellors wil often side with the non-neurotypical party and place responsibility on your shoulders so watch out for that.

@Yogatomorrow also using a calender here, but he either doesn't look at it, or expects every detail of the event on it before realising what the event or commitment requires of him or entails.

Don't know about you, but I feel about 65.

OP’s posts: |
DinosaurDiana Mon 08-Feb-21 14:03:56

I didn’t get very far down your post before wondering why on earth you put up with him.

Desperadoo Mon 08-Feb-21 14:04:46

My mental health is in tatters today.
Loathe myself for shouting so aggressively yesterday.
He's plodding on as normal.
I've worn sunglasses in the house all day as my eyes are so sore from crying yesterday.

OP’s posts: |
YoniAndGuy Mon 08-Feb-21 14:06:19

I even had to use the analogy of me keeping DCs away from his office so that he can work during the week and that I needed the same from him on a Sunday morning for 2 hours.

And he just argued the toss?

Fine. For a start, no more keeping the DC away so he has peace to work.

Let him get angry that his needs aren't being met for a change. Do remember to 'glaze over' when he asks you repeatedly not to let them near. Maybe even say your plans have changed today, you're cleaning because you couldn't on Sunday, plus you're sorry but you also couldn't give a shit that he's being disturbed?

DameJackieWeaver Mon 08-Feb-21 15:22:25

@Twisique

Reported your post for ableism.

Being a selfish twat does not make her husband have Asperger’s. But given the number of times observations like this are made on MN, it’s no surprise to see such ableism rear its ugly head yet again.

Oblomov21 Mon 08-Feb-21 15:26:12

I'm struggling to understand.
You said your dad was clearly autistic, so you deliberately chose someone not. But you've chosen someone clearly AS. I'm confused.

Oblomov21 Mon 08-Feb-21 15:27:57

Probably best to get this thread moved to the SN section for support. They are fabulous.

HosannainExcelSheets Mon 08-Feb-21 15:32:45

My almost exH is like this. He was finally diagnosed with ADHD. We saw a specialist marriage therapist who suspected autism, but after assessment that was ruled out. Don't jump to any conclusions about Asperger's.

However, I simply couldn't function in a relationship where unless I screamed, cried or had a tantrum, my needs were sidelined. We split up 2 years ago and I have never been happier. Seriously. Within weeks my spark was back and I felt free to be myself. Even with 3DC (one with autism, another probably but not diagnosed yet), life is so much better.

Try to communicate your needs with him, but of he can't or won't meet them, then move on.

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 08-Feb-21 15:34:41

You need to split up. Screaming around what you describe as very young children isn’t acceptable. Whatever else is going on, feeling bad isn’t stopping you from shouting all the time.

There’s a thread running today about a man wanting his wife to collect him from hospital and shouted at her when she refused. The consensus is he doesn’t deserve her help because he shouted. It’s not different because you’re a woman or that he’s being annoying and not doing what you tell him. Between you you’ve created an utterly toxic environment in which your poor children are living and you both have to take responsibility for that. If you want to work on the relationship then do, but not while living under the same roof and exposing children to this level of constant shouty conflict.

MadameButterface Mon 08-Feb-21 15:36:08

Life’s too short to spend with someone who can’t even let you write a shopping list in peace.

HosannainExcelSheets Mon 08-Feb-21 15:37:47

Oblomov21

I'm struggling to understand.
You said your dad was clearly autistic, so you deliberately chose someone not. But you've chosen someone clearly AS. I'm confused.

No, he's not. He's clearly not meeting her needs. He clearly communicates badly. But you can't diagnose autism from one post.

As an adult with autism who would l never behave anything like that, I get incredibly angry with people who equate being a dick with selfish tendencies as being typically autistic behaviour. It really isn't.

Oblomov21 Mon 08-Feb-21 15:44:38

I completely disagree. But sorry if I 'diagnosed' rather than 'suggested'. hmm
Of course mn can occasionally trot out the old classic 'autism' suggestion too readily, when in actual fact the person is just a dick.
But in this case I think there's quite a lot that could be considered traits.

DameJackieWeaver Mon 08-Feb-21 15:48:10

As an adult with autism who would l never behave anything like that, I get incredibly angry with people who equate being a dick with selfish tendencies as being typically autistic behaviour. It really isn't.

Well said. Autistic adult here too who would absolutely not behave like that. This ubiquitous misunderstanding of autism without learning difficulties/ Asperger’s on MN and the real world is extremely troubling.

picklemewalnuts Mon 08-Feb-21 15:50:04

Of course he may not be autistic. However, OP suspects he may be, his parents noticed he struggles with communication, the Counsellor suggested he may be and several people have read OPs post- which doesn't mention autism- and raised it as a possibility.

How do you think people are diagnosed with autism, if no one is ever allowed to wonder if it's a possibility?

OPs husband needs to consider why he is so unresponsive and decide whether he needs assistance in understanding his behaviour in order to keep his marriage.

HosannainExcelSheets Mon 08-Feb-21 15:50:54

ADHD and autism have a huge overlap. Lots of sensory seeking, attention issues, lack of empathy traits are more associated with ADHD. Lack of theory of mind, language problems, can be more associated with autism. Armchair diagnosis doesn't help anyone.

RantyAnty Mon 08-Feb-21 15:52:12

Stop doing everything for him.

He's fine because everything revolves around him. He doesn't care how you feel or that you're overburdened as long as he doesn't have to do it.

DameJackieWeaver Mon 08-Feb-21 15:54:17

Oblomov21

I completely disagree. But sorry if I 'diagnosed' rather than 'suggested'. hmm
Of course mn can occasionally trot out the old classic 'autism' suggestion too readily, when in actual fact the person is just a dick.
But in this case I think there's quite a lot that could be considered traits.

What you see as “traits” could be explained by a multitude of other reasons

A selfish twat who doesnt give a fuck

Or a an emotionally abused partner whose wife shouts at him regularly and he just tries to shut it out.

But just as you do not possibly have enough info to diagnose autism, I don’t have enough info to state that either of my scenarios apply either.

It’s is so incredibly unfair for the “he obviously Asperger’s” to be chucked out every time in these sort of situations. You are perpetuating the inaccurate stereotypes. Please don’t.

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