The Married Aspie Cafe Thread (discussion of marriage, etc.)

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Nis47
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13 Sep 2018, 6:17 pm

SeriousGirl wrote:
I've been with my hubby for 24 years and I feel like it is the only real family I've ever known. He's a pretty introverted guy with some aspie traits. We have no social life with "friends," but we do a lot of things together.

On the issue of the card, I think I would send a paper sympathy card. When in doubt, send a card as it never hurts a relationship.

Great idea for a thread!



I am desperate to save my marriage. How have you done it for 24 years?



Magna
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13 Sep 2018, 9:47 pm

Cool thread here. Married 17 years (second marriage for me, first for her) with three kids. My wife is very introverted with social anxiety and she likes a lot of alone time after the kids are in bed like I do. Probably not ideal, but often she and I scatter to our "corners" often. I think an NT wife would have divorced me a long time ago.....


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"There is no love of living without despair of life." - Albert Camus

"Ain't nothing but a stranger in this world
I'm nothing but a stranger in this world" -Van Morrison

"Are you Bluish? You don't look Bluish."

AQ-43 (32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism).
EQ-14 out of 80
Rdos: Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 173 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


frink
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14 Dec 2018, 7:20 am

Argh. Myself, my wife, and two young kids are visiting our in-laws across the globe in Asia. Needless to say I’m being pushed to and beyond my limits. As background info, my diagnosis was very recent, and I’m still really just starting to come with terms with it.

This morning, I woke up with my 4 year old jumping in my bed, and I was tired after an incredibly draining day yesterday, and wanted to sleep, so I started the day already in a lousy mood. So then an hour later my wife is engaged in conversation (which I couldn’t understand well) with her family while I was keeping the kids out of trouble. So again, I’m already at my limits, and then she asked me in front of her family I can reschedule a work call I had scheduled for Tuesday to another day. She had previously told me that day would be OK for a call. Rescheduling didn’t bother me much, but I was really nervous her dad was planning some all-day outing that I would have to go along with, which I know will drive me nuts and I’ll probably shutdown and be completely embarrassed by my behavior in some way if it happens. My wife didn’t really reply so I again asked “for what?”, and she replied “I don’t know” and seemed annoyed. I let it go for the time being since it was clear I couldn’t engage at this point.

After this I found myself getting upset and frustrated and I didn’t really know why. To keep the story short, I kind of shutdown at this point. The kind where you can’t tolerate being around anyone. I went to the bedroom, lights off, headphones, blanket over whole body. Was probably there for 2 hours. This is a very severe reaction for me. Normally I can weather things out. I was really overwhelmed and pissed, and took me a long time to work out that I was angry that my wife and/or her family make plans without including me.

So, another hour later, I build up the courage to say why I’m shutdown and say what’s on my mind. I did this in as reasonable way as possible. I was careful not even to blame her. I didn’t even ask her to reschedule whatever it is we’re doing on Tuesday. I just asked that I’d really like to be included in plan-making next time, and that I get overwhelmed and exhausted by too many outings, and that I need some time to myself sometimes. I’ve mentioned this to her a couple times before, in particular after my diagnosis when I realized I really need down time. But no – she is too overwhelmed by her dad already and pissed that I bring this request up, and she’s pissed I was shut down for the last 3 hours when we’re supposed to be having fun with the kids. She even brings up that she packed all the kids’ clothes before the trip and that this was emotional burden.

I know this post is getting too long. Bottom line is these things always turn out to be my fault. I’m terrified to bring up anything critical or anxiety-provoking to my wife (she is prone to anxiety). She almost always gets really upset, stops talking for a while, and then brings up a bunch of things I did wrong or bad assumptions I made. She’s usually right about a bunch of her points and I am more than generous to acknowledge them and apologize for mistakes on my part. But I never feel like she actually makes an effort to understand and think about how I am feeling :( I love her and we really are a good match for each other and we do a great job as parents. But once in a while this happens. When it comes to issues like this relating to me getting overwhelmed, she usually doesn’t even acknowledge what I talk about, and instead immediately shifts to her feelings: that me saying this makes her angry because she has so much emotional burden planning things. But that doesn’t change the fact I’m being pushed beyond my limits. I just wish she could understand this part of me. I don’t know that I’ve ever finished an argument with her feeling like I was able to communicate to her how I really feel. She did ask what she could do differently, but again, when I say something, she gets upset and then emotions blind my ability to think clearly and then I can’t remember the logically worked-out thoughts I had queued up beforehand. I know my communication is lousy, and melting down like this is not ideal and must be super annoying to her. I just don’t know how to make progress. I feel like I keep getting more and more afraid to open up to her if I have to be critical about something. I get terrible anxiety about it and that only contributes to melting down.

So, that’s my rant. If anyone has any advice or empathy or similar experiences to share, that would really help me out. I feel invalid.



Magna
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14 Dec 2018, 8:29 am

Thanks for posting. I'm sorry you're having such a difficulty. I don't blame you a bit. You're experiencing a trifecta of environmental and emotional overload: New environment/foreign country, staying with the in-law's, no acceptable way to solitude and recharging. Also, young kids require more hands on constant parenting as you know which can add to or enhance stress.

Since your relatively recent diagnosis, what is your wife's reaction to or attitude about your diagnosis?

How long have you been married?

How much longer before you head home?


_________________
"There is no love of living without despair of life." - Albert Camus

"Ain't nothing but a stranger in this world
I'm nothing but a stranger in this world" -Van Morrison

"Are you Bluish? You don't look Bluish."

AQ-43 (32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism).
EQ-14 out of 80
Rdos: Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 173 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


frink
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14 Dec 2018, 9:13 am

Magna wrote:
Since your relatively recent diagnosis, what is your wife's reaction to or attitude about your diagnosis?

How long have you been married?

How much longer before you head home?


Thanks for the reply, Magna. My wife was hugely supportive when I first told her of the preliminary screening indicating ASD that led to me getting a full evaluation. I couldn't have asked for more. When the real diagnosis came, though, she was more surprised. I assured her that I was still the same person. And that we wouldn't jump to conclusions about one of our sons who shows a lot of signs. We left later in the week, and there has been so much going on, that it hasn't really come up in conversation. I have made a few comments about it but she did not engage. I think her mind was just on other things. I am a bit nervous that she is denying it mentally but probably she's not thinking about it due to the busyness and her own stress. I personally was struggling to accept it up until this last week but I've noticed so much during that week and reconciled so many things in my mind about my past that I am pretty much convinced. We've been married 6 years. Really very compatible except this issue keeps coming up for me. And I'm nervous she won't respect me if she gets hung on autism. For example do I have to tell her this was all "meltdown"? I just now read in Tony Attwood's book that a meltdown was exactly what it was.

It's in extended trip -- back early January.



Magna
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14 Dec 2018, 11:06 am

My sympathies go out to you. That is an extended trip. In my opinion you have to go into survival mode. Here's what I mean by that:

You have to talk to your wife (who is undoubtedly under extra stress as well with all of you staying in her parent's place) and tell her that you're overwhelmed because the trip is so much different than at home for you. Tell her you're certainly "there" for her and that you're both a team, but that you'd be lying if you didn't say that because everything is so different (not bad, just different) that it's draining to you.

Then, you need to have a "light at the end of the tunnel" each night that you can tell yourself something like: "I just have to make it until [whenever you can just crash in bed]. Then, when you reach that goal, just flop down and shut down completely.

Try to take "micro-breaks" during the day when you feel overwhelmed by going into the bathroom, locking the door and just sit down, rub your face, your head, etc and take deep breaths and tell yourself that you can make it until [whenever you can crash in bed or retire to the bedroom]. That time will be your saving grace.

Try to do as many things that relax you as you can. For example, if showers relax you, when you take your shower, revel in how good it feels more so than you normally would.

Play off the "For whatever reason, I've just been feeling really tired on the trip". Don't abandon your duties in helping your wife take care of the kids, but if you float that out there that you're lower on energy than you normally would be, your wife and her parents won't think it's so weird if you try to rest when you can.

I'm not an herbalist or anything, but valerian root tea can be calming.


_________________
"There is no love of living without despair of life." - Albert Camus

"Ain't nothing but a stranger in this world
I'm nothing but a stranger in this world" -Van Morrison

"Are you Bluish? You don't look Bluish."

AQ-43 (32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism).
EQ-14 out of 80
Rdos: Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 173 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


frink
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15 Dec 2018, 10:39 am

Magna, your advise was very helpful to read when I woke up this morning. I set a goal to make it through to mid-day, when usually there is a little downtime as at least one kid naps every day. I had a random conversation with my father-in-law at breakfast time about how fresh fish have non-cloudy eyes, hah. I know nothing about that but nor why he brought this random topic up out of nowhere, but just having a successful and not awkward conversation set a good tone for the day. My mother-in-law also offered to watch the kids a ton today, so that took a lot of stress off. My wife and I both seemed content to leave yesterday's events behind us. I'll hopefully survive the trip, and maybe enjoy a lot of it if I can keep my mind in the right state and focusing on getting through one day at a time (or less). And then after the trip follow up with my therapist on strategies to address the communication challenges with my wife.

So it was a good day, and I built up a lot of positive momentum. Tomorrow is a pretty packed day traveling to more relatives, but there will be some low-stress time in the evening available. So I'll just focus on getting through to that. My wife's brother is also in town now, who is one of the rare people I enjoy talking to, which helps.



Magna
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15 Dec 2018, 11:17 am

^^ You've got a great perspective, Frink. You're going to make it!


_________________
"There is no love of living without despair of life." - Albert Camus

"Ain't nothing but a stranger in this world
I'm nothing but a stranger in this world" -Van Morrison

"Are you Bluish? You don't look Bluish."

AQ-43 (32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism).
EQ-14 out of 80
Rdos: Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 173 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


martianprincess
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22 Jul 2019, 7:28 pm

I have ASD and ADHD. My husband has ADHD.
I'm his second marriage, he's my first.

Marriage is pretty challenging sometimes.


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01 Sep 2020, 9:23 am

I've been married 31yrs the 2nd time,the 1st was taken advantage young and dumb.The 2nd is very smart and helps me keep our life organized.



StrangerInAStrangeLand
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06 Oct 2020, 5:56 pm

My husband is NT. I have ADD, diagnosed, and ASD undiagnosed. My Mom was diagnosed with Aspergers, and my son has been diagnosed with ASD and Epilepsy.

A couple of questions.

1. Does anyone feel guilty when you have to check out when you are overwhelmed? I hide in our bedroom. I don't think my husband understands. I have tried to explain it. I worry he thinks I am making excuses. I am sure most of you already know that if I do not take the time to calm myself at some point I will completely unravel. I have a lot of strategies in place to avoid that because I really hate losing control like that.

My husband is very nice to me and leaves me alone, but he has to take care of the family by himself. I get frustrated with myself because there is no real reason to feel bad, and yet I do. This subsequently increases the time I spend calming myself down. It is ridiculous and unproductive but I cannot seem to stop it.


2. Does anyone's NT significant other understand and protect you from things that are triggers? Do they guide you towards things that are calming and supportive?

Thanks!



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08 Oct 2020, 8:12 am

Hi Strangerin a strange land your questions fit's me.I found out have autism and dd when much older and retired my wife the 2nd helps me I go to the computer room a lot she dose not always know that is to relax but she is always able to help control things the dd is hard to combat oh for good measure have been incontinent for several yrs.Thanks



EEngineer75
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21 Oct 2020, 10:39 pm

StrangerInAStrangeLand wrote:
1. Does anyone feel guilty when you have to check out when you are overwhelmed? I hide in our bedroom. I don't think my husband understands. I have tried to explain it. I worry he thinks I am making excuses. I am sure most of you already know that if I do not take the time to calm myself at some point I will completely unravel. I have a lot of strategies in place to avoid that because I really hate losing control like that.

My husband is very nice to me and leaves me alone, but he has to take care of the family by himself. I get frustrated with myself because there is no real reason to feel bad, and yet I do. This subsequently increases the time I spend calming myself down. It is ridiculous and unproductive but I cannot seem to stop it.


2. Does anyone's NT significant other understand and protect you from things that are triggers? Do they guide you towards things that are calming and supportive?

Caveats: I'm not the most relationship wise: this is what I wish I could do in my marriage--but do not.

Short responses:
1. As someone with the opposite problem for many years (always trying to engage, despite poorly understood emotional self-regulation issues), I applaud you for recognizing and taking steps to self-care.

I encourage you to continue. You have a right to your own self-care--everyone does (your husband & children included). In fact, being a spouse plus parent of a special needs child, I encourage you to see it as a responsibility to your family, too, to see to your needs and to demonstrate/model how to self-care to your children.

Your husband sounds very supportive and patient. Instead of feeling guilty, I recommend--immediately after you've recuperated--acknowledging with gratitude his act of loving service to you and your family for your space & time to self-care. Then, later--at a time of more energy & ability for you--you could occasionally reciprocate with some kind of small or large loving act to him: a note, a break or refreshing activity of his own, a token gift, a special dinner, physical affection, etc.


2. No.

But, after perhaps years of unhealthy (boundary-wise) attempts at accommodations... my current search is to figure out a healthy balance for accountability vs accommodation vs self-reliance vs shared responsibilities vs boundaries vs family/friends/coworkers. (Confusing, yes: to me and much more to my family.) (Perhaps the "vs" may be healthier as a "+"?)....


PS "I have a lot of strategies in place to avoid that because I really hate losing control like that."
Care to share any, or share a previous post or thread on the topic, or a website, article, or book chapter? (I'm relatively new to attempting to understand and more healthily cope with ADHD and whatever subset of ASD issues I have.)


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-Fan of Dr. Russel Barkley lectures and also of "How to ADHD" toolbox tips on You Tube. (I would welcome similar resources on understanding & managing HF-ASD/Aspergers' issues--especially regarding social, relationship, & empathy.)


Spergl0rd
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15 Nov 2020, 1:38 am

Ugh, just resisted ripping into my wife, just smiled, said "yes dear" and waited for her to leave.

My little neices birthday is this coming weekend, my mom had just spoken to me about the event including the assumption that we would be there, speaking with my wife about it and she complains that its too long, no birthday party should be longer than 2 hours, she thinks it'll be too long and hard to make conversation, but when we go to her family for an event, thats at least half the day gone. Then she's wondering if my other brothers kids will be there, but likely they wont because of an incident last time, which then becomes a conversation about kids on the spectrum, then saying how if she had known she wouldn't have had kids with me, instead suggesting a sperm donor, then wondering whether I would accept someone elses kid as mine, then saying it would be nice if you could edit the babys genetics to remove the autism, but only if its the hard kind like my neice and nephew.

I honestly felt like saying, 'yea, if we could edit the babys genes we could make sure it doesn't have pcos and weight problems and it has actual muscle mass and has a real ass, not pancakes, and has normal skin, not some saggy wrinkly open pore mess and some decent semblance of intelligence' but i know that the moment i say anything them im rude and im wrong.

Honestly though, I struggle pretty hard with the concept of love, im not really physically attracted to people in general and now i get the shadow knives in my back, shitting on me without actually directing it at me.
Reminds me of the time i couldn't understand some government form and her comment was 'when did you get so dumb' makes me feel really valued in the relationship.

Im thinking the plan at this point is now I'll ride my motorbike to see my niece and nephew next weekend, she can come if she wants and she'll have her car so she can leave whenever she wants.

End vent....



1986
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20 Jan 2021, 8:21 pm

Wife's birthday today, and this year will be our 5th wedding anniversary. We've been a couple longer than that, though, coming up on 11 years. Thinking about her extra much right now, how lucky I am, and that she really is the most important person in my life. I'm sure I can be a total ass sometimes, so I'm happy she accepts me for who I am.


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Yesterday, 9:13 am

I totally agree my wife is the most important to me been married almost 34yrs.