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Married to someone with Asperger's? Support group here! (Thread 3)

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MNHQ have commented on this thread.

ChangerOfNameAspieThread Sat 29-Dec-18 14:44:38

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.)

Some resources from the threads so far:
www.theneurotypical.com/effects-on-differing-nd-levels.html
www.maxineaston.co.uk/cassandra/
I've probably missed some, but will try to gather them later and put in a comment for the next thread!

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

Italiangreyhound Sat 29-Dec-18 15:30:24

I have found these interesting reading.

My dd is on the spectrum and I hope to get some insights for her and any woman or man she ends up with. Hope it is ok to lerk!

ChangerOfNameAspieThread Sat 29-Dec-18 15:43:37

Italiangreyhound of course!

One thing to keep in mind is that nowadays there are more diagnoses in childhood. That completely changes things - for good or bad I'm not sure! It does mean that when today's children enter relationships as adults they will at least know they have a different way of thinking and processing the world and people around them. They will have grown up with some extra attention paid (at least in comparison to the past) to helping them understand how to reach across the bridge of that difference and also not needing to mask quite so much.

Many of the problems arising in these threads is, in my mind, partly caused because neither partner knew what was going on beneath the surface.

I would hope that things are less painful for everybody in the future.

SwearyInn Sat 29-Dec-18 16:37:22

Hi. Female Aspie here.

Whilst absolutely recognising that anyone in an unhappy relationship - NT or ND - has a right to be able to air and discuss their problems, I find it a bit worrying when I see Maxine Aston and her self-coined Cassandra Syndrome referenced.

I’d just like to point out that she is not a psychiatrist or psychologist (or even any formal Asperger diagnosis qualifications). She has an MSc in “Health Psychology”. She does however make a lot of money out of NT/ND counselling (and handing out unofficial diagnoses). I think that is important to bear in mind when reading her “research”.

ItalianGreyhound - I was late diagnosed so never had the benefits of my parents understanding why I was as I was (if that makes sense??). It would have made such a difference to know I was lovable AND likeable as I was made to feel like a bit of a failure on that front. But the fact you are on here asking how to help is such a positive sign!

QueenieIsLost Sat 29-Dec-18 19:48:13

Joining in.
I’ve name changed numerous times since the start if those threads but still following.

I have to say I’m delighted to see a thread in ASD/NT relationship going on wo been shut down. It didn’t use to be the case.

Having said that, for me, this is not about making the relationship better. More about getting through the next few months/years until I feel I can leave wo a backward glance.
There was a thread in here about a woman who struggled with the fact she couldn’t muster any compassion for her DH when he actually really needed it as she had detached so much.
It feels like this a lot of the time sad

QueenieIsLost Sat 29-Dec-18 19:51:17

Re Cassandra syndrome.

I have to say, that description works for me.
I have no idea if it is sound research wise but it’s a good description of how it has been for me. The one thing it does is to validate my feelings and telling me I’m not the crazy one (not that H is. But he made me feel I was so often that I started to think I was indeed crazy/overbearing/oversensitve etc....)

I think that’s also why so many people are using that phrase.

WhatOnEarthDoIDoNow Sat 29-Dec-18 20:09:13

Aspie hear looking at pursuing a relationship with another Aspie (heaven help us all but I adore him) grin

Happy to give a female aspie perspective and just an aspie perspective on how and why we do things we do and help you identify what is typical aspie behaviour and what is your partner just being a bad partner.

Also looking for advice on how to go about having a relationship with an aspie and how to pursue him when I think he likes me but doesn't have the confidence to do anything himself.

What is Cassandra Syndrome and Maxine Ashton?

1tisILeClerc Sat 29-Dec-18 20:44:36

Hi
I think I am mildly Aspie. Having read up and actually been on MN around 18 months or more back I could 'see' some of the ways that I might be different to what are normally termed NT responses.
For me, to have been aware that I don't always follow the same thought patterns of others and if my 'ex' had been either aware or more prepared to work around some of the largely mild 'oddities' I might not be an 'ex'.
I was accused of looking 'angry' when I know I wasn't but perhaps one of the worst things is in a 'tense' discussion (typically relationship type) my mind simply switches off and goes blank.
My comment to WhatOnEarthDoIDoNow would be to both declare your 'aspieness' and be as accepting of differences. Males and females can 'present' differently so reading up and exploring the differences may be beneficial.

bifflediffle Sat 29-Dec-18 20:50:43

My DD is here and in conversation has said some stuff about what her dad did when she was young and I’ve had to hide in the bath. He just neglected her. Forgot to feed her. Took her to work and just left her all day.

She was 4 when we split. He never did enough for a SS referral that I knew about but she admits she didn’t tell e at the time because she knew I would be angry.

I’m so so sad that he treated her like that. And sad that she didn’t feel she could tell me. And angry with myself for not asking the right question at the time.

QueenieIsLost Sat 29-Dec-18 20:54:41

I was accused of looking 'angry' when I know I wasn't

Yep H regularly has told me he isn’t angry when he is displaying all the signs of anger.
That he isn’t sad when he is looking sad etc...

Tbh I’ve never known if actually his facial expressions are at odds with how he feels or if it’s full on Alexithymia and he doesn’t know he is angry/sad etc....

That makes any relationship really hard because as an empathic NT I rely on that sort of signs A LOT to gauge how the person is feeling.

in a 'tense' discussion (typically relationship type) my mind simply switches off and goes blank.
And yes H does that too. Which means it’s impossible to have any discussion at all about ‘tense’ subjects, which are invariably the ones we really need to discuss....
if you add to that the fact he doesn’t do small talk, there is very little scope of a conversation there.....

Now I’ll be honest, these are not small oddities to me. They are making any relationship really hard work as I never know what’s going on (did I say something hurtful? Should I be supporting him or there isn’t anything wrong going in etc...) and when I do know something is wrong, it can never be discussed and solved.....

WhatOnEarthDoIDoNow Sat 29-Dec-18 20:54:45

Can I also recommend the groups Supporty McGroup face and Aspirations and Ausomeness (they’re closed Facebook groups so people can’t see your activity) but they’re ran for and by autistic people, to support each other and help to support NT’s in understanding and coping and working with us aspies.

QueenieIsLost Sat 29-Dec-18 20:56:28

biffle flowers for you and your dd

bifflediffle Sat 29-Dec-18 20:59:58

In tense discussions he would agree to everything.

And then claim he didn’t.

I took to text messages so I had proof.

Thanks Queenie. I’m just so sad for her. She knows he’s not ever going to change. She’s much more accepting than I am.

QueenieIsLost Sat 29-Dec-18 21:14:04

In tense discussions he would agree to everything.

Oh yes! And did whatever he wanted.
Or has been absolutely awful to be with because actually he didn’t want xx.

He has agreed that when he says Yes, it can mean Yes or No. And that doing so makes things VERY complicated.
He is still saying Yes (and I usually assumes he means No.....)

bifflediffle Sat 29-Dec-18 21:17:52

I ended up writing text messages, even when we were still together, that were bloody legalese.

On x date at y time we discussed xxx. The issues as I see them are xxx (bullet points). The issues as you see them are xxxx

We agreed that xxxx

I undertake to xxxxx by xxxx date.

You undertake to xxxx by xxx date.

Please acknowledge receipt of this email.

Bloody ridiculous carry on.

AspieT Sat 29-Dec-18 21:18:59

Just marking my place on the new thread.

Those of you that are in successful aspie marriages, how did you do it? And tips you can share? I'm grieving over the NT husband I will never get. And I don't know how to get over it.

bifflediffle Sat 29-Dec-18 21:21:26

I failed. I tried for 20 years but I couldn’t do it anymore.

He was also abusive but because he thinks he’s always right and everyone else is wrong, I’m not sure how much was just being a dick and how much was his undiagnosed but as plain as the nose of uour face, ASD.

1tisILeClerc Sat 29-Dec-18 21:24:34

QueenieIsLost
I am not trying to pick an argument but your 'nonacceptance' of looking angry but isn't and mind blanking (a relatively typical Autistic trait I believe) could be countered by your inability to be empathetic with your partner (or me). A significant issue is that NT THINK they know best, whereas in reality they know DIFFERENT.
I went for an assessment for something and took a friend with me. After most of the meeting he turned to my friend and sumarised some aspects and used tone and contents of speech as if I was just a 'specimen' and wasn't there. I have never, ever been violent but he got very close to being the first casualty.

bifflediffle Sat 29-Dec-18 21:26:57

I should add. He loved the idea of the texts but hated them on practice.

bifflediffle Sat 29-Dec-18 21:29:06

At one point I was putting

Should you disagree with my interpretation of the situation, please advise by x o’clock on y day and outcomes will be agreed accordingly.

I took fucking NOTES of our tense discussions. He found that intimidating and raised it as an issue via lawyers after we separated.

misskiki69 Sat 29-Dec-18 21:41:04

I made notes too! Mainly because he often forgot any of our in depth conversations, so then I could prove he said things. Ridiculous!

QueenieIsLost Sat 29-Dec-18 22:12:45

Leclerc you clearly misunderstood what I was saying.
I’m happy to think that he knows he isn’t angry. The fact his face sends different signals is very hard for me as an NT to deal with because I then never know if I should think ‘oh he is angry there’ or ‘na, this face isn’t an angry face even if it looks like it’.
Bearing in mind most of our communication goes through non verbal signals and that it is basically a reflex, it IS a huge part of communicating and is therefore confusing for the person in the receiving end when signals are opposite to what you expect.

The Alexithymia is often associated with autism. I suspect H is affected by it.
Seeing that the definition of Alexithymia IS the ‘inability to identify and describe emotions in the self’, I think it’s fair to wonder if actually this is affecting the way he is reporting his feelings.

Tbh I dint think I will ever know what it is and whether the Alexithymia has muddled things even more.

None of this has anything to do with me imposing my way of looking at things ‘because I know better’.
But everything to do with trying to understand what in earth is going on, taking into account his disability.

QueenieIsLost Sat 29-Dec-18 22:17:02

Btw whoever did the assessment was shit.

I cannot imagine anyone on this thread behaving like this. Mainly because
- their ASD partner would never have accepted it in the first place
- as the NT partner, I doubt they would have got married and lived with the ASD partner for years, sometimes decades, if they had felt their partner was just a ‘specimen’ not worth listening to.

AspieT Sat 29-Dec-18 22:20:17

Do any of you feel like your aspie partner doesn't know or want to make you feel special? I have been with mine for 15 years and never really felt special or that feeling of I was the most important thing to him in the world?

ThisWayDown Sun 30-Dec-18 05:09:26

I have so much to add to comments made both on the last one and here. Placemarking for now, will post properly when on my laptop.

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