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Sidecarsmom
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05 Dec 2019, 10:08 am

I just became aware that our difficulties in our relationship are due to his Aspergers. I took the test for him (I know him really well and am good at predicting his behavior) and “he” scored 36 out of 50. He is rigid and angers easily. How do I broach this to him? He is 72. Do I involve his kids? I am actually relieved that I am not Crazy as he tells me I am. I am have been so lonely in our 16 year marriage even though we are in the same place 24 hours a day. ( I work from home and he is retired). I have been the breadwinner and peacemaker our entire life together. My fear is that he will feel “attacked” instead of intrigued about this. And the consequences will be long lasting and miserable for me. What to do?



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05 Dec 2019, 10:22 am

Sidecarsmom wrote:
I just became aware that our difficulties in our relationship are due to his Aspergers. I took the test for him (I know him really well and am good at predicting his behavior) and “he” scored 36 out of 50. He is rigid and angers easily. How do I broach this to him? He is 72. Do I involve his kids? I am actually relieved that I am not Crazy as he tells me I am. I am have been so lonely in our 16 year marriage even though we are in the same place 24 hours a day. ( I work from home and he is retired). I have been the breadwinner and peacemaker our entire life together. My fear is that he will feel “attacked” instead of intrigued about this. And the consequences will be long lasting and miserable for me. What to do?
Nothing.

You are not an appropriately-trained, board-certified, and licensed mental-health practitioner.  You opinion lacks validity as you are emotionally involved with the "subject", and when you say you took "the" test for him, you did not specify which one.

On-line ASD tests are notoriously biased toward delivering a positive result. Your own confirmation bias would further influence the results, especially if you took the test with the expectation of proving your suspicions.

Besides, by the age of 72, most men have become both rigid-minded and easily angered. Why not try loving him instead of trying to "prove" how "crazy" you think he is?


_________________
 
“I must acknowledge, once and for all, that the
purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis.”

— Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, in the Star Trek
episode "The Mark of Gideon" (ep. 3.16, 1969)


Last edited by Fnord on 05 Dec 2019, 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

magz
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05 Dec 2019, 10:30 am

Sidecarsmom wrote:
I just became aware that our difficulties in our relationship are due to his Aspergers. I took the test for him (I know him really well and am good at predicting his behavior) and “he” scored 36 out of 50. He is rigid and angers easily. How do I broach this to him? He is 72. Do I involve his kids? I am actually relieved that I am not Crazy as he tells me I am. I am have been so lonely in our 16 year marriage even though we are in the same place 24 hours a day. ( I work from home and he is retired). I have been the breadwinner and peacemaker our entire life together. My fear is that he will feel “attacked” instead of intrigued about this. And the consequences will be long lasting and miserable for me. What to do?

Seems like Asperger's, if present, is not necessarily the main issue in your relationship.
How about couple counselling?


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Fnord
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05 Dec 2019, 10:37 am

magz wrote:
Sidecarsmom wrote:
I just became aware that our difficulties in our relationship are due to his Aspergers. I took the test for him (I know him really well and am good at predicting his behavior) and “he” scored 36 out of 50. He is rigid and angers easily. How do I broach this to him? He is 72. Do I involve his kids? I am actually relieved that I am not Crazy as he tells me I am. I am have been so lonely in our 16 year marriage even though we are in the same place 24 hours a day. ( I work from home and he is retired). I have been the breadwinner and peacemaker our entire life together. My fear is that he will feel "attacked" instead of intrigued about this. And the consequences will be long lasting and miserable for me. What to do?
Seems like Asperger's, if present, is not necessarily the main issue in your relationship. How about couple counselling?
This may not be the better idea. He may likely feel he's being "attacked" by the marital counselor as well as his wife.  It's Hell growing old, and compounding the Hell by implying that he is (and never was) good enough may only make things worse.


_________________
 
“I must acknowledge, once and for all, that the
purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis.”

— Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, in the Star Trek
episode "The Mark of Gideon" (ep. 3.16, 1969)


magz
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05 Dec 2019, 10:51 am

I just thought that accusing your SO of "being crazy" (OP says he does it) is not a healthy thing to do, even if surprisingly common.
On the other hand, seeking a condition that would fit your SO (which OP seems to be doing) is also not a healthy thing for a relationship.

So, Asperger's or not, there seems to be a lot of mishandling going on, probably we have way too little information to find any particular solutions.


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05 Dec 2019, 10:53 am

magz wrote:
... probably we have way too little information to find any particular solutions.
On that, we agree.


_________________
 
“I must acknowledge, once and for all, that the
purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis.”

— Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, in the Star Trek
episode "The Mark of Gideon" (ep. 3.16, 1969)


Sidecarsmom
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05 Dec 2019, 11:18 am

First off , thank you to everyone who replied. this is new territory for me and I am treading lightly and learning. We have been to counseling which helped until I lost my biggest account and we couldn't afford it anymore. I am a peacemaker and beside being NT (is that the correct term?), I am also a very extroverted person who has been a caretaker for me entire life. (As I child I cared for my grandmother who lived with us. I became a nurse. Raised my two boys almost singlehandedly and am surrounded by people who love me and have no idea what to make of hubby. For the person who directed me to "love him", I do. Or else I would not have given up most of my life to make him "happy". We spend holidays alone because he doesn't like my sons who also feel he is a "leech". Again, I have been the breadwinner and He is a spendthrift. But if I make any attempt to rein in the $, I am accused and life is h-ll. In my first marriage (lasted 26 years. I grew up and he didn't. Drugs and infidelity were an issue there.) I was also the caretaker. My sons are both single dads raising their kids on their own. both divorced and both moms have little to do with the kids. Hubby's sisters and kids tell me often how grateful they are that I "take care" of him.

Sooo, my original question should be modified: Should I tell him of my suspicions that he has Asperger's?



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05 Dec 2019, 11:27 am

Sidecarsmom wrote:
... Should I tell him of my suspicions that he has Asperger's?
I don't know, really ...

It seems that you have already decided to tell him. So how do you think he would take it? Is he likely to slap his forehead and shout "That explains everything!", or is he more likely to glare at you, say nothing, and ignore you for at least a week?

I once suggested to my ex-wife that maybe her drinking was possibly making her bipolar disorder worse. I still have the scar on my neck from where she cut me with a broken whisky bottle.

Be careful.


_________________
 
“I must acknowledge, once and for all, that the
purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis.”

— Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, in the Star Trek
episode "The Mark of Gideon" (ep. 3.16, 1969)


Sidecarsmom
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05 Dec 2019, 11:55 am

Thank you for the perspective. You painted the exact picture of our relationship with you second scenario. I am so excited to have something concrete that explains our life that I am itching to share...but as your scar illustrates, he might not appreciate this nearly as much as I do. and yes, he will "pout" for a full week...shutting me even further out and telling me everything is "fine" (insert image of teenager rolling eyes and enunicating FIIINE).



jimmy m
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05 Dec 2019, 12:45 pm

Sidecarsmom wrote:
Thank you for the perspective. You painted the exact picture of our relationship with you second scenario. I am so excited to have something concrete that explains our life that I am itching to share...but as your scar illustrates, he might not appreciate this nearly as much as I do. and yes, he will "pout" for a full week...shutting me even further out and telling me everything is "fine" (insert image of teenager rolling eyes and enunicating FIIINE).


That is probably a good approach to take. You might read up on Aspergers. There are several books written on the subject and even a number of YouTube videos on the subject. These can give you some valuable insight and perspective on the condition. But at 72! He is one year older than I and probably fairly set in his ways. Also there are some traits that Aspies possess that are valuable:

Positive Aspie Traits
* They are usually loyal and dependable. Competing to get ahead is less important than solving problems and meeting challenges. Conscientiousness, faithfulness and devotion to duty matter more than ambition, especially if that ambition would cause others to suffer.
* Adults with Aspergers pursue ideas they believe in without being deterred by what others say. They are not easily swayed by others’ opinions, nor do they give up because someone tries to convince them otherwise.
* They are good at recognizing patterns and in classifying things. They are comfortable with order, precision and categorization, which make them successful in following rules, allocating resources and solving problems.
* They tend to be sincere, positive and genuine, which make them loyal and dependable friends.
* Speaking their minds regardless of the social context is true of many adults with Aspergers. They are much more interested in someone’s skills and expertise than whether that person is viewed favorably by others.
* Adults with Aspergers are especially good at noting and recalling details. They are helpful at work that requires knowledge of facts, details, and memory. They are often exceptional at the recall of details forgotten or disregarded by others. They have a passion for gathering and cataloging information on a topic of interest.
* An acute sensitivity to specific sensory experiences and stimuli, including touch, vision, and smell is common and having such unusual sensory experiences gives them a different perspective on the world.
* Adults with Aspergers tend to be trusting of others, even charmingly naïve. They are compassionate and caring, and many maintain the belief in the possibility of positive relationships.
* They are often direct, speak their mind and are honest. Many have a strong sense of social justice.
* Because they don’t mind being alone, they are often willing to engage in solitary work that others avoid, which puts them in the position of making tremendous contributions at work and school.
* They are able to comprehend multiple levels of meanings of words and ideas and can form connections that others miss.
* They are persistent, and when they set their minds to something or make a promise they can usually be trusted to follow through.
* A relationship with someone who has Aspergers tends to be free from bias and discrimination based on race, gender, age or other differences. They judge people based on their behavior not the color of their skin, socioeconomic status or political influence.
* They are not inclined to be bullies, con artists or social manipulators.
* “Most of the major advances in science and the arts have been made by people with Asperger’s”

One last comment. Asperger's syndrome is primarily genetic. So there is a chance that your children/grandchildren may also have the condition. So if you see signs that they may also possess these traits, this knowledge might give you insight to help them with tools, techniques to help them on their journey through life.

As an example, some of my grandchildren possess some of the traits. I bought them noise canceling headsets and weighted blankets which they dearly love.



Sidecarsmom
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05 Dec 2019, 1:40 pm

Fnord wrote:
Sidecarsmom wrote:
I just became aware that our difficulties in our relationship are due to his Aspergers. I took the test for him (I know him really well and am good at predicting his behavior) and “he” scored 36 out of 50. He is rigid and angers easily. How do I broach this to him? He is 72. Do I involve his kids? I am actually relieved that I am not Crazy as he tells me I am. I am have been so lonely in our 16 year marriage even though we are in the same place 24 hours a day. ( I work from home and he is retired). I have been the breadwinner and peacemaker our entire life together. My fear is that he will feel “attacked” instead of intrigued about this. And the consequences will be long lasting and miserable for me. What to do?
Nothing.

You are not an appropriately-trained, board-certified, and licensed mental-health practitioner.  You opinion lacks validity as you are emotionally involved with the "subject", and when you say you took "the" test for him, you did not specify which one.

On-line ASD tests are notoriously biased toward delivering a positive result. Your own confirmation bias would further influence the results, especially if you took the test with the expectation of proving your suspicions.

Besides, by the age of 72, most men have become both rigid-minded and easily angered. Why not try loving him instead of trying to "prove" how "crazy" you think he is?




Perhaps I should have said that he exhibits 36 of the 50 markers given for Asperger's. While I am not a clinician (although I am an RN and have had psychiatric training), I AM the person that knows him best. I am a very stable person, the ROCK of the family for three generations and have been since childhood when I took care of my parents and grandmother. I am also the breadwinner and I indulge him in virtually ALL of his "projects". He has not worked since 2008. He is now on Social Security though so that helps. Someone here indicated that I am an enabler and that rings true. However I have learned that the "Wrath of Rick" is worse than just going out and making more $ to indulge him. We have been married for 16 years and he has driven my family and most of my friends away. One is either "for him" or "against him". He doesn't understand that people can disagree and still be friends. he is THAT literal.

and as for the comment to "just love him"..how do you know that I don't? Please do not insinuate any ulterior motives. It would be easy to dump him since I am the independent one. Instead I seek to understand him. Surely you understand that or why else would I be here in this forum asking for advice? I defend him ALWAYS. Run interference for him with the outside world and explain when he does something callus. I constantly demonstrate that I care about him and want the best for him and love him. He gets virtually everything HIS way. We only eat where HE likes to eat. We only go to movies HE likes to go to. We only see people HE likes to see. He hates to travel so I travel alone or with a friend. If I sound defensive, I AM. Your comments were hurtful.



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05 Dec 2019, 1:56 pm

Sidecarsmom wrote:
I defend him ALWAYS. Run interference for him with the outside world and explain when he does something callus. I constantly demonstrate that I care about him and want the best for him and love him. He gets virtually everything HIS way. We only eat where HE likes to eat. We only go to movies HE likes to go to. We only see people HE likes to see.

Aren't you tired of it?
Wouldn't you like it otherwise?


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Sidecarsmom
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05 Dec 2019, 2:05 pm

magz wrote:
Sidecarsmom wrote:
I defend him ALWAYS. Run interference for him with the outside world and explain when he does something callus. I constantly demonstrate that I care about him and want the best for him and love him. He gets virtually everything HIS way. We only eat where HE likes to eat. We only go to movies HE likes to go to. We only see people HE likes to see.

Aren't you tired of it?
Wouldn't you like it otherwise?


Yes..that's WHY I am trying to learn what I can about our situation (mismatched "wiring"). If he learns what's behind this my hope is that he will WANT to work to a common understanding and stop view me as the "enemy".



Sidecarsmom
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05 Dec 2019, 2:16 pm

jimmy m wrote:
Sidecarsmom wrote:
Thank you for the perspective. You painted the exact picture of our relationship with you second scenario. I am so excited to have something concrete that explains our life that I am itching to share...but as your scar illustrates, he might not appreciate this nearly as much as I do. and yes, he will "pout" for a full week...shutting me even further out and telling me everything is "fine" (insert image of teenager rolling eyes and enunicating FIIINE).


That is probably a good approach to take. You might read up on Aspergers. There are several books written on the subject and even a number of YouTube videos on the subject. These can give you some valuable insight and perspective on the condition. But at 72! He is one year older than I and probably fairly set in his ways. Also there are some traits that Aspies possess that are valuable:

Positive Aspie Traits
* They are usually loyal and dependable. Competing to get ahead is less important than solving problems and meeting challenges. Conscientiousness, faithfulness and devotion to duty matter more than ambition, especially if that ambition would cause others to suffer.
* Adults with Aspergers pursue ideas they believe in without being deterred by what others say. They are not easily swayed by others’ opinions, nor do they give up because someone tries to convince them otherwise.
* They are good at recognizing patterns and in classifying things. They are comfortable with order, precision and categorization, which make them successful in following rules, allocating resources and solving problems.
* They tend to be sincere, positive and genuine, which make them loyal and dependable friends.
* Speaking their minds regardless of the social context is true of many adults with Aspergers. They are much more interested in someone’s skills and expertise than whether that person is viewed favorably by others.
* Adults with Aspergers are especially good at noting and recalling details. They are helpful at work that requires knowledge of facts, details, and memory. They are often exceptional at the recall of details forgotten or disregarded by others. They have a passion for gathering and cataloging information on a topic of interest.
* An acute sensitivity to specific sensory experiences and stimuli, including touch, vision, and smell is common and having such unusual sensory experiences gives them a different perspective on the world.
* Adults with Aspergers tend to be trusting of others, even charmingly naïve. They are compassionate and caring, and many maintain the belief in the possibility of positive relationships.
* They are often direct, speak their mind and are honest. Many have a strong sense of social justice.
* Because they don’t mind being alone, they are often willing to engage in solitary work that others avoid, which puts them in the position of making tremendous contributions at work and school.
* They are able to comprehend multiple levels of meanings of words and ideas and can form connections that others miss.
* They are persistent, and when they set their minds to something or make a promise they can usually be trusted to follow through.
* A relationship with someone who has Aspergers tends to be free from bias and discrimination based on race, gender, age or other differences. They judge people based on their behavior not the color of their skin, socioeconomic status or political influence.
* They are not inclined to be bullies, con artists or social manipulators.
* “Most of the major advances in science and the arts have been made by people with Asperger’s”

One last comment. Asperger's syndrome is primarily genetic. So there is a chance that your children/grandchildren may also have the condition. So if you see signs that they may also possess these traits, this knowledge might give you insight to help them with tools, techniques to help them on their journey through life.

As an example, some of my grandchildren possess some of the traits. I bought them noise canceling headsets and weighted blankets which they dearly love.


I agree with 95% of the traits you list. He fits them. He doesn't possess empathy or at least he has great difficulty identifying how others feel. I smashed my finger and it was gushing blood. He was concerned about his floor jack which was what smashed my finger. I fell in a parking lot and came down hard on my knees and elbows. Torn clothing and lots of bleeding. Strangers rushed to help me. He could not care less and when I mentioned it (quietly and non accusatorily) he blew up and didn't talk to me for days.

NOTE: my dad was much the same way and I see some of that in my oldest son (with my first husband). Conversely, they both learned how to adapt to meet their partners; needs. I married my dad and have my parent's marriage. :)



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05 Dec 2019, 2:26 pm

Sidecarsmom wrote:
I agree with 95% of the traits you list. He fits them. He doesn't possess empathy or at least he has great difficulty identifying how others feel. I smashed my finger and it was gushing blood. He was concerned about his floor jack which was what smashed my finger. I fell in a parking lot and came down hard on my knees and elbows. Torn clothing and lots of bleeding. Strangers rushed to help me. He could not care less and when I mentioned it (quietly and non accusatorily) he blew up and didn't talk to me for days.
This is not Asperger's. Asperger's is not getting cues and not understanding subtle suggestions and not guessing what a person needs or expects - but when there is bleeding, the situation is too obvious to blame AS.

Sidecarsmom wrote:
NOTE: my dad was much the same way and I see some of that in my oldest son (with my first husband). Conversely, they both learned how to adapt to meet their partners; needs. I married my dad and have my parent's marriage. :)
That's quite a common scenario. I'm so happy that my father is a good person!


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