Help me understand my *possible* AS Husband <3

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waifu
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01 Aug 2019, 9:47 pm

Hello all! Thank you in advance for your help. My new husband and I had never lived together before as we had a long-distance relationship via the internet. I am from Australia and he is Korean. We have now been married and living together in Australia for 2 months.

He is a very kind and gentle person who describes himself as very reserved, shy, and "not expressive" and will freely admit he doesn't know what to say in a variety of situations. He is very affectionate, and sweet, wants to be practically helpful, and loves cuddles but occasionally he will say something that seems just horrifying. After a while I started to realize that he hated the reaction from me when he says these things and seemed very clueless about how these statements could affect me. He would get upset and scared and not know how to fix the situation. Essentially he was "screwing himself over" and that made me realize he wasn't doing it on purpose...as in we was not doing to upset me, he had no idea certain things weren't funny to me, were morally taboo and why etc.

I actually thought he had OCD for a while because he refused to have showers until he was very dirty and the way he talked about the bathroom (which was new for him, and different from Korean bathrooms) was as if it was horrifying. It turned out that he didn't understand that I would expect my new husband to be clean! I explained to him what I did to try to be nice for him and he said "I didn't know that, you must think so badly of me". He did not understand really why I thought him being dirty would indicate maybe he was mentally unwell. And sometimes he was very dirty, like hair wet with oil, smelly, dirty....actually he was dirty more often than clean. His excuses for not showering were very odd and made me think he was lying to cover up something like OCD. It turns out he just thinks the bathroom is "inconvenient" and I have put my foot down and told him he needs to shower every second day. He is doing this because I explained otherwise I will feel disrespected and like he doesn't care how I feel.

He seems to display echolalia. At first I thought it was a language barrier but if I engage him in a serious conversation where he has to think he has no problems carrying a conversation appropriately with the usual occasional errors in grammar / word choice. He seems to like just repeating the same things over and over (like phrases that are funny to him from the news or movies, things I have said etc), it's to the degree that sometimes our conversation could be mostly him giggling and repeating phrases. This doesn't bother me but it is distinctive. It's kind of cute really.

His interests are limited to programming, the news, movies, sometimes sexual subjects, and a phone game he loves. He cannot easily talk on subjects outside of this. He might just refuse basically by saying the subject is boring. Subjects of conversation are limited basically to his interests.

When he watch movies his theory of mind seems very poor. If it is not explicitly shown or stated that something has happened to a character he cannot work it out.

This and some other things made me realize he might be AS, and as I have a background working with people with issues much more severe than this I was just happy that he wasn't suffering like if he had OCD. I then had a few moments where I had to recover from the stress I'd been under worrying about him being seriously ill, and have a moment to realize that if he has AS he just has AS and he wont naturally ever understand things like me.

But AS is not the worst thing in a husband. Being a bad, cruel person is. And as I'm an overly emotional, very expressive person (the kind of person he likes, I assume because it is easier to read people like me) probably its better to have a partner for whom a lot of my dramatics go over their head instead of stressing them out. And I'm not the most NT of the NT's, I like interesting people and I'm pretty unique myself.

I want to know if there are any people here who can relate to my husband and what anyone could contribute that would help me relate to, and when needed, help my husband. He's the sweetest, loveliest person and he really does care when he can understand what is happening. How can I help him understand what is going on more and how can I better understand what is happening with him. He doesn't actually know what he doesn't know I have realized, so conversation on this matter is not always very helpful, sometimes it registers for him as criticism.

Thank you!! ! :heart: :heart: :heart:



jimmy m
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01 Aug 2019, 10:31 pm

Since this is your first post, Welcome to Wrong Planet.

So if he has Aspergers and that is an assumption at this point, then many of your observations may apply. But it might also be cultural differences or something else. So it might be beneficial to discuss your concerns with him. Perhaps he could take an on-line Asperger test. Although these test are not official, they will give you an approximation.

Some of the traits of Asperger's are:
* shows a lack of empathy (difficulty understanding others’ feelings, difficulty communicating feelings)
* unaware of others’ thoughts, feelings, desires, intentions or perceptions resulting in inadvertently appearing rude or inconsiderate
* does not understand the use of gestures or sarcasm (may not understand the subtleties of language, such as irony and humor)
* likes to wear the same clothes for days/weeks
* inattentive to grooming and personal hygiene, awkward appearance
Since your husband exhibits some of these trait, your analysis might be accurate.

Another point is that everyone has strengths and weakness. But an Aspie is a little more extreme. They can have great strengths and great weaknesses. The following is a list of some of the Aspie positive 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”

Your marriage can be a Ying and Yang marriage. Each individual has different strengths and weaknesses. In joining together in marriage, the couple is better capable of dealing with whatever challenges the world throws their way. What is marriage? Two souls who have chosen to join together in the vast regions of time and space who together can weather almost any storm and find great pleasure and joy and also wonder in their children. You have the ability to interpret the social world for your husband.

So the approach that you are using is a good approach. When something he says or does causes you distress, then let him know that his actions are not acceptable. And explain why. And do it in a nice way because Aspies may find accepting criticism to be difficult. Just teach him there are two form of criticism: destructive and constructive. That the criticism that you will give him will always be constructive and that you have his best interest at heart and would do nothing to hurt him intentionally.



waifu
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02 Aug 2019, 1:40 am

jimmy m wrote:

Your marriage can be a Ying and Yang marriage. Each individual has different strengths and weaknesses. In joining together in marriage, the couple is better capable of dealing with whatever challenges the world throws their way. What is marriage? Two souls who have chosen to join together in the vast regions of time and space who together can weather almost any storm and find great pleasure and joy and also wonder in their children. You have the ability to interpret the social world for your husband.


THANK YOU JIMMY :heart: :heart: :heart:

This part made me cry a little. I think we are Yin and Yang :D

Thankfully I've known a fair number of Koreans from different backgrounds and my husband and I had a lot of practical conversations before we moved in together so I have a fairly good handle on what the cultural differences might be. Those are pretty intense too but we're the same in that we both have been studying each others culture for a long time...so most cultural differences are understood to some degree by us. And we do some things Korean style and some things Australian style.

I'm just wanting to discuss this with people who can be positive and not just say negative things about how our relationship might be doomed and will result in me losing my mind etc...which is most of what I see online.

Thank you for your focus on the positive. So often people react like "oh, someone is defective, throw them away". I don't think like that.

I will not make him do an online test just yet. I already confronted him thinking he had a mental illness in the last month...I'm sensitive that I need to leave things alone for a while and stop stressing him out. I can just work on myself for the time being :)



Teach51
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03 Aug 2019, 9:46 am

I am sorry that you are experiencing problems.
Did you not notice your husband's behaviour before you got married? People rarely change after marriage and we cannot ever change other people.
I suggest that he goes willingly to a psychologist/psychiatrist for an accurate assessment rather than you hurling possible diagnoses at him, it's rather insensitive imo.
Hope you both work out your differences and grow to accept each others differences.

You seem to really care and I think that you are very wise to consider working on yourself first.
I never saw my part in the pathology of my marriage, it's really hard to be subjective, and I lived with the misconception that I could fix my ex for many years. I played a substantial part in the pathology in retrospect, but only his faults were magnified in my perception.
Thinking that someone will transform into someone more acceptable in our eyes after we "fix" them is a mistake we often make as women. I myself was just as messed up, I just didn't want to admit to my own shortcomings.


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jimmy m
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03 Aug 2019, 2:06 pm

waifu wrote:
I think we are Yin and Yang :D

I am an extreme introvert Aspie and my wife is an extreme extrovert neurotypical. Today we are celebrating our 45th Wedding Anniversary. We have a Yin and Yang marriage. I let her interpret the social world to me. Whenever it deals with a social aspect, I leave her in charge - such as the clothes I wear or when to take a bath. Or in a conversation, a quick jab to the ribcage lets me know I am breaking social rules.



waifu
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04 Aug 2019, 10:40 pm

Teach51 wrote:
I am sorry that you are experiencing problems.
Did you not notice your husband's behaviour before you got married? People rarely change after marriage and we cannot ever change other people.
I suggest that he goes willingly to a psychologist/psychiatrist for an accurate assessment rather than you hurling possible diagnoses at him, it's rather insensitive imo.
Hope you both work out your differences and grow to accept each others differences.


We didn't live together before marriage. We had a long distance relationship and only spent two weeks together. Maybe that's stupid but I love him haha. He actively hid some aspects of his behavior, and only allowed me a small insight into some aspects prior to marriage. I agree, maybe it is insensitive to "hurl possible diagnoses at him" but if you were as concerned about him as I had been, and feeling like you were being lied to, you might have said some similar things too. After all it is not really kind to ignore it *if* someone has a mental illness and needs help. I *never* could have worked out for myself he didn't know a new wife would expect a clean husband.
I have come to accept I will have to push him for some things. I do a lot for him (all cooking and cleaning etc), he can have showers for me.

Teach51 wrote:
You seem to really care and I think that you are very wise to consider working on yourself first.
I never saw my part in the pathology of my marriage, it's really hard to be subjective, and I lived with the misconception that I could fix my ex for many years. I played a substantial part in the pathology in retrospect, but only his faults were magnified in my perception.
Thinking that someone will transform into someone more acceptable in our eyes after we "fix" them is a mistake we often make as women. I myself was just as messed up, I just didn't want to admit to my own shortcomings.


There are PLENTY of things that are imperfect about me. I'm deeply neurotic for one thing! Other people can find that crazy-making about me. I also talk back to the TV haha! Also I can be a doormat who puts up with too much from those I love...which is not helpful. I'm grateful I have already had another long-term relationship so I know in intimate detail all the things wrong with me. I know all the things I should never do again.

I have no desire to turn him into someone else. He is wonderful...the worst thing was freaking out that something horrible and painful was wrong with him. The purpose for this post was to develop my empathy with him. He may not have AS but he has some definite traits so maybe some people here could relate to him and give me a window into what life might be like for him.

Thank you for your response :heart: :heart: :heart:



waifu
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05 Aug 2019, 1:36 am

jimmy m wrote:
waifu wrote:
I think we are Yin and Yang :D

I am an extreme introvert Aspie and my wife is an extreme extrovert neurotypical. Today we are celebrating our 45th Wedding Anniversary. We have a Yin and Yang marriage. I let her interpret the social world to me. Whenever it deals with a social aspect, I leave her in charge - such as the clothes I wear or when to take a bath. Or in a conversation, a quick jab to the ribcage lets me know I am breaking social rules.


CONGRATULATIONS!! ! Or in my husbands language 축하합니다!! ! :heart: :heart: :heart:
It sounds like you guys have a great relationship. It was important to my husband that he wanted "his girl to be a popular girl" I'm not the ultimate social butterfly because I am also a bit introverted and nervous but I'm a likable person who is never short of offers of friendship.



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05 Aug 2019, 6:35 am

Koreans are fastidious about cleanliness.

It’s not part of their cultural makeup to not bathe often. I wouldn’t attribute his lack of inclination towards showers to he being Korean.

I hope you succeed in your relationship with him. You seem nice.



waifu
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06 Aug 2019, 1:15 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Koreans are fastidious about cleanliness.

It’s not part of their cultural makeup to not bathe often. I wouldn’t attribute his lack of inclination towards showers to he being Korean.

I hope you succeed in your relationship with him. You seem nice.


Thank you sweetheart, I have seen your comments around the place here a lot whilst lurking and you seem nice too :D

He was clean in Korea when I stayed with him. Occasionally he had two showers in one day. But as soon as he encountered the bathroom here and found it "inconvenient" he stopped showering until I told him he had to. Last night he got stuck in the bathroom for 1 hour because the drain got blocked and he waited until I got home and could provide him with a tool he thought was suitable to unblock it (it was just a wad of hair, which is gross for sure, but no one else I know would be unable to complete the task of showering due to an incident like this. And certainly no one has ever requested a tool from me for this). I'm not sure he was able to have a shower actually?? But he seemed so calm...unhappy and cold, but calm. I just worry he is distressed, because I would be if it was me. But he doesn't show distress easily I think because he is so quiet and his emotional response is very understated. I'm a very caring person and I love him very much. Because I can't understand what is happening it's stressing me out so much... *I* am distressed :cry:



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06 Aug 2019, 8:36 am

waifu wrote:
He was clean in Korea when I stayed with him. Occasionally he had two showers in one day. But as soon as he encountered the bathroom here and found it "inconvenient" he stopped showering until I told him he had to. Last night he got stuck in the bathroom for 1 hour because the drain got blocked and he waited until I got home and could provide him with a tool he thought was suitable to unblock it (it was just a wad of hair, which is gross for sure, but no one else I know would be unable to complete the task of showering due to an incident like this.


I am not a great fan of showers myself. I prefer a warm bath instead. Many individuals on this site have noted that due to sensory issues, showers can be a problem.



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06 Aug 2019, 10:55 pm

jimmy m wrote:
waifu wrote:
He was clean in Korea when I stayed with him. Occasionally he had two showers in one day. But as soon as he encountered the bathroom here and found it "inconvenient" he stopped showering until I told him he had to. Last night he got stuck in the bathroom for 1 hour because the drain got blocked and he waited until I got home and could provide him with a tool he thought was suitable to unblock it (it was just a wad of hair, which is gross for sure, but no one else I know would be unable to complete the task of showering due to an incident like this.


I am not a great fan of showers myself. I prefer a warm bath instead. Many individuals on this site have noted that due to sensory issues, showers can be a problem.
I think those who have sensory issues with showers tend to have problems with taking showers in general instead of liking them & then suddenly hating them cuz the bathroom is different. I'm NOT saying that him suddenly not liking showers isn't due to autism but it's pretty common for those of us on the spectrum to have comorbids like OCD so I wouldn't rule OCD out thou I'm not saying he has or doesn't have it. Also it can be pretty hard for some people to adjust to suddenly living in a different environment & it can be even worse/harder for those of us on the spectrum to adjust to a major change especially if we're suddenly in a whole other country. Autism issues can get worse when we're under stress like when we're adjusting to change. It's possible things may get better for him as time goes on & he acclimates more. Is there a way you can modify the bathroom to make it easier for him waifu :?: I'm not saying you need to remodel the bathroom to make it exactly like Korean bathrooms but maybe there's little changes you can make so it won't be quite as different for him like make the bathroom look like a mix between Australian & Korean bathrooms.


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