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KimJ
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08 Aug 2008, 12:49 am

As I announced a few months ago, my husband and I separated. We attempted to reconcile (I thought) but apparently he was just doing it because this woman he liked was unavailable and he was angry that he was "losing his son". That's the past 3 months in a nutshell. Two weeks ago, he broke up for one last time and I asked him if there was "someone else" and he denied it.
Suddenly today, he announces he's been seeing that woman and wanted to introduce our son to her. I got mad and we debated a variety of stuff and I didn't think to stay on topic. Upon thinking about it, I asked him later in email if he'd hold off on introducing her so soon. He replied that he had already told Pop about her. I guess that means he told him that he was dating someone and he'd get to meet her this weekend.

So, my question is. Any parents of autistic/Aspie kids go through this? I wouldn't do this with an NT kid because of attachment issues but do ASD kids have the same thing? I'm completely new to this whole thing and I'm an unwilling participant. I'm kind of freaking out because he's in such a rush to introduce this whole thing to our son. He's only 8 and still hasn't grasped the idea that Mom and Dad are separated. We were "seeing" each other throughout the separation. He got the impression that it was temporary.

Please help.



soljaboi51
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08 Aug 2008, 1:30 am

I know he wont like it, but you have to tell him the truth. He will end up understanding it, although it may take some time. If youre husband is an as*hole like you say he is, hed best live with you when you divorce.



KimJ
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08 Aug 2008, 2:04 am

I wouldn't call him an as*hole, not at this point. There is a whole complicated reason behind the split. But yeah, this new girlfriend thing sucks and I think he's being deceitful about it. I've tried explaining the separation to my son. He's like me though (big surprise), "well, you just need to get along". Yeah, that's my answer too, Pop, but Dad doesn't agree.



soljaboi51
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08 Aug 2008, 2:06 am

You dont have to put up with him cheating on you. Something tells me this will end in divorce. I am sure it would be more satisfying if you were the one to make the divorce.



KimJ
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08 Aug 2008, 4:26 am

Well, it's not really cheating if we're already separated. And I'm not going to initiate a legal proceeding until we are financially secure. Any legalistic action could hurt our son and I'm not willing to jeopardize that.
I'm more interested in ASD kids and their development and how this kind of thing will affect them. I'm Aspie and imprinted on my parents' poor marriage (they are still married and deny that they fight). I believed that you stay in a marriage "for better or for worse" and that apparently isn't how the world works.

I know there are divorced and remarried parents out there. . . .



n4mwd
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08 Aug 2008, 7:10 am

Well, your son is definitely in a bad situation. You should answer all his questions truthfully with as much detail as he is able to understand. Avoid name calling and assumptions. Just stick with the facts: "Daddy has found another woman and he will not be living with us any more."

As far as cheating, if you are still married, then he IS cheating. People separate when they need a cooling off period. The term "For better or worse" applies to your financial situation and means that you should stick together even if your financial status tanks. No marriage is expected to tolerate infidelity.

I don't know how the courts work out there, but the fact that he has been unfaithful generally means that things will not go his way in divorce court. He will likely have to pay you alimony and child support.

I'm sorry I sound harsh, but I have zero tolerance for cheaters. Absolutely nobody profits and your son pays a heavy and lifelong price for your husbands indiscretions.



Jenk
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08 Aug 2008, 7:30 am

Please allow me to amend "Daddy has found another woman and won't be living with us." This happened to me except it was my mother who found another man and i had to live with them both, he was also an absolute nightmare that made my adolescence a living hell = angry/confused/embarrassed/disgusted. No one explained things properly to me growing up and I remember exactly the vague wording used to describe the impactual events, they were not sufficient and yet I was expected to 'voice my concerns.'

So. Do not initially include a third party in your reasons behind the divorce. All I was concerned with is why mummy and daddy were not speaking, speaking loudly all the time and whether they would change my house or room, I felt bad enough as it is pacing around freaking out without having the added confliction of some unknown other, who I should apparently be blaming, (was really preoccupied with understanding where they appeared from.) It was highly uncomfortable.
So, perhaps mum and dad cannot live together anymore because... It is ok though because... Ensuring they will still get to live in the same place, keep the same routine and see both of their parents (My father left the Town, I lost my home and mum spent years telling me off for being pedantic like my father, it was not at all desirable.) Also when introducing new partners, this should be a gradual process, it is not fair to suddenly introduce a new parental figure unless they intend to be sticking around in the long term, as change can obviously be very difficult to handle. Also the new partner must be of good character!! ! My mother was selfish and allowed an ex-military who sits on his bottom turning my mother and I against each other (which eventually worked.) She was verbally abusive to get the house up to par all the time, when we used to live in a cosy mess of books/animals ec. He invades my privacy, coming in my room and rearranging things on purpose as he knows it distresses me. :wall:

In short your child is the most important person in this scenario and they could suffer mentally if care and consideration is not taken, so it is good you seem to realise this, because I know that my OCD tendencies would not have been so vile, I may not have been so depressed, have told my mother about my continuing reading/writing difficulties and generally had a better education, had both parents stuck around somewhere and stopped arguing long enough to see that I was not exactly flourishing, pushing through school despite obvious proficiency in the arts.

Overshare, but this stikes the cord.

Oh and they made me try art therapy, which invaded my privacy as art was the best way I expressed myself at the time, I didn't want to "let anything out" just get out of the strange building with new people and get back home with mum and dad sitting on the couch reading, thats near enough the extent of it. Perhaps you and your husband should speak to a knowledgable neurophychologist who can advise how best to approach this situation with your child.



Last edited by Jenk on 08 Aug 2008, 7:48 am, edited 9 times in total.

ster
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08 Aug 2008, 7:32 am

wish i had any sort of advice to offer. have no experience with this. best of luck



rushfanatic
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08 Aug 2008, 10:05 am

Dear Mom, I am sorry you are going through such pain right now... I had read that divorce rates for families with autistic children was at 80%, compared to the "average" family at 50%..Either ratio is much too high... Just be aware that the spouse may try to manipulate the child's views to favor his side , and not yours... I have seen this personally with my dear friend, who has 3 boys on the spectrum and just finalized her divorce. Because your son loves you as mom, please do not fear that this new lady will take over as his mom..She needs to realize that you are the maternal caretaker . It seems that he is simply on the prowl again for his needs, and marriage material may not be his thing, just trysts here and there. I am so frustrated by what my friends must endure when their marriages evaporate, it is never fair to the mom or the children..the kids need love and support, and I know you will give your son what he needs in his heart and soul. Best of luck to you, just press on and stay strong.......Peace....



KimJ
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08 Aug 2008, 10:30 am

jenk, thanks for sharing. Yeah, my husband had a horrific experience with the "step"parents as well and an absent (deadbeat) father. But now he thinks Pop is old enough to handle it and he believes we'll be careful to protect our son from harm.

I guess I didn't really expect him to want to introduce them so quickly. I think of rebound relationships as kind of seedy and quick. I've known other parents to wait for months to introduce their kids to a new relationship.
Besides the shock of everything else, the sham reconciliations, the quick switch to this woman, I'm really rattled by the sudden lack of agreement with our son. We discussed everything together, and even last night he was agreeing to do that.



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08 Aug 2008, 12:41 pm

I think the way your soon to be ex husband describes the woman to your son, and asks him to treat her, are the most important things. Kids know parents have friends; it doesn't really phase them to have those friends go in and out of their lives. What could become an issue is being encouraged to view her as a more permanent figure, as a possible authority, in the child's life. This is what you should ask your soon to be ex NOT to do. If and when they get married, THAT is the time to advance the child's relationship with her to that level. For now, she should be just like any other friends of dad's the child could end up spending time with.


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aspiemom1
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08 Aug 2008, 12:58 pm

Personally I agree that it is not a good idea to introduce this new lady to the mix so soon. I am divorced and have dated a bit (though the kids did not meet them). My x however had a live in girlfriend who my kids adored and now they have broken up and when my kids were there last (they only go in the summers and at x-mas) they were upset and things went really badly because she was not there. granted she was wonderful with my kids and if i could have picked someone to be in their lives, I must say I couldnt have done better.

it is still really tough on aspies when someone is there for a while and then leaves. so i agree its a bad idea and DAD needs to think first about his child(ren) then about getting on with dating.



KimJ
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08 Aug 2008, 1:03 pm

That's a new thing too. We didn't have hardly any outside friends and if we did, Pop would latch onto them something fierce. We rarely ever had anyone over at the house, we might take him to friends' houses. I think Ex was suggesting that this woman would be around a lot.
I know from experience. When we first started dating (granted we were young) we were inseparable and he constantly wanted me around.
Pop has met Ex's co-workers in passing and talks nonstop about it for a while.



DW_a_mom
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08 Aug 2008, 1:20 pm

Very valid point, that this may be harder for an AS child, who may attach deeper to the few people in his life. My previous post came mostly from what I've seen with neighboring families - all more NT than not.

Kim, is your soon to be ex AS? Does he have much understanding of it?


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KimJ
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08 Aug 2008, 4:28 pm

Ex had developmental delays and was a lot like Pop as a child but that abruptly changed once he entered puberty. He "snapped out of it" and developed social skills (through intense practice) and taught himself academics. He went from reading nothing to reading really sophisticated stuff and a lot of it. So, he's like half and half. He still has sensory issues but has enormous coping mechanisms. He understands autism in our son but resented it in me, once we had a name for it. Before, I was charming. But we did argue a lot over communication, schedules and boundaries.
I'm a lot more Aspie with my rigid schedules, rules, morals and pedantic talk. I don't get convenient lies or flexible morals or broken promises.



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09 Aug 2008, 1:08 am

Tough position... wish there were answers. Things that I wondered while reading: what is he introducing her as? what role will she be allowed to have in child's life? how is the introduction going to be handled? Blunt talk works best, even if it can seem counterintuitive at a young age. In many children, explanations beg arguments, whereas with those on the spectrum they seem to have a beneficial effect - in my experience.


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