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d33f
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24 Aug 2019, 11:56 am

Let me introduce myself.

I am a 33 yo father of twins diagnosed with higher functioning autism. I went to a therapist to check if I had autism myself when my 4yo boy was diagnosed with autism and (suspecting) ADHD. My wife and I are together for 14 years and have been married for 4 years.

The last couple of years are rough since we have our twins. Especially with the special needs of our son and his hyperactivity. Sometimes it is very difficult for me to deal with this especially with his hyperactivity and what it means to be a dad for two kids at once.

In the same time I finished my study (software engineering) and went to work for 40 hours a week. This I have been doing for almost 3 years now.

Now back to our relationship..
In these 14 years we had our fair share of ups and downs. Survived two affaires she had and of course my own 'traits' that don't make a relationship easy.

The reason for her affaires were the fact that she feels that I don't evenly return the love she puts in our relationship and that I don't 'speak' her love language. Furthermore I have computer related stuff / gaming as a hobby (since I was little). Gaming is a way of coping from the day to day struggles and sometimes I really need to sink for 2/3 hours into gaming to recharge my battery.

On the other hand she wants that I spend most of my free time with her (logically). We do spend time together (have a movie night here and there and watch some series together before we sleep) or go out with the kids in the weekends. But this is not enough for her while on the other end I really need my coping sometimes.

About the love language. Thus far I have learned to tell her that I love her many times a day coupled with a hug and a kiss but she has the feeling that it is not sincere will I do really love her.

At the moment she again has the moment that she can't continue on with his relationship because she feels lonely while on the other hand I'm trying (even more than I can take) to be there for her and letting he know and feel that I love her. I can understand that it may not be enough for her but on the other side it's draining me more than I like (work, kids, relationship).

I don't know what more can I do? We knows that she can't change me and that makes her even more depressed. In my mind I'm embracing myself for a divorce..



ProfessorJohn
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24 Aug 2019, 12:11 pm

Marriage counseling might help, where you can both get it out with an outside observed helping you to recognize what might be going on.



magz
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24 Aug 2019, 12:41 pm

I agree to the idea of marriage counselling. It seems your main issue is poor communication of your needs and it is what couple counselling most often adresses.
If the counsellor was also AS-aware, it would be even better.


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d33f
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24 Aug 2019, 12:52 pm

I have communicated about my needs with her. She understands and even tries to help me with the oversensitivity by taking the kids.out of the door sometimes. In return she hopes I can better cope with my day to day struggles but in reality it is just enough to survive. I hurts me and her that I can't give you that much that she needs how hard I try..

We do love each other very much and really do have a spiritual bound but physically I am not able to give enough :(



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24 Aug 2019, 1:03 pm

d33f wrote:
We do love each other very much and really do have a spiritual bound but physically I am not able to give enough :(

I know. It's really hard to be an autistic parent of young children. Hopefully, it gets easier as the kids grow and become more independent - at least I feel it that way. As the kid grows, you can find more and more activities like sports, hobbies etc. to do outside home, relieving you and your wife. An ADHD kid needs lots of physical activity, I now perfectly well how hard it can be for a tired, overstimulated parent.
If you consider divorce then definitely try couple counselling first. I think your marriage is worth the effort.


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Mona Pereth
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24 Aug 2019, 3:15 pm

Suggestions:

1) Try to find an ASD-aware couples counselor. (A couples counselor who is not ASD-aware would not be nearly as helpful.

So that some of us might be able to give you suggestions about where to inquire about finding an ASD-aware couples counselor, it would be helpful if you could let us know what country you live in and the nearest major city.

2) If at all possible, try to find other similar families (husband with HFA and with interests similar to yours, wife NT and with interests similar to hers, one or more children with HFA) that your family can occasionally hang out with. For your wife, having one or more female friends in a very similar situation might take the edge off of her feelings of loneliness and thus (hopefully) reduce the temptation to have affairs. (I've read various places that a common problem of NT parents of autistic children is feeling isolated even from their NT friends because of the difference in their situations.) Also, once they become friends, they might also be able to help each other in various extended-family-like practical ways.

Again, so that some of us might be able to give you suggestions about how/where to find such a family, it would be helpful if you could let us know what country you live in and the nearest major city.


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SharonB
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24 Aug 2019, 5:47 pm

Per my request, my NT husband and I have been in and out of counseling since before our marriage. The first counselor said "You two are VERY different, it will be challenging..." (did he say it could be rewarding? he must have) so we sort of had an idea of what we were getting into. The counselling provides relief to us when we get really out of touch (young kids can do that to any couple). We've probably been in for a month or two every five years. A tune up if you will. The most recent counsellor said the key to relationship success was (structured) 20-min conversations weekly. It's been good; keeping us at a 6-7 rating out of 10. (We still aspire to 8-9.)

I have demanded that we change, BOTH of us. We are working on being respectful to each other.

Sounds like you want to remain in the relationship, so it's for your wife to recommit. She would need to direct her energy into staying in the relationship.

Aside: It's amusing to me that what you've shared seems more Man-Woman to me than ASD-NT. You and I have over-stimulation in common, otherwise I have more in common with your wife (affairs, being unsatisfied in my relationship). Your other characteristics are in common with my NT husband (gaming, not changing - oh, but he did!).

Wishing your family well.

BTW - I took acting classes as a child... There was a particular exercise - my acting partner would say "I love you" and I couldn't barely hold myself back from saying "I believe you", and then we'd switch. All the other pairs would be done and I'd still be there saying "I love you", "I LOVE you", "I love YOU" and my partner wouldn't believe it. Either my acting partner eventually felt sorry for me and said they believed me or I actually got it. Thanks to years of acting classes, studying psychology and communication, I can "convincingly" tell my husband and kids that I love them. Life is strange.



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24 Aug 2019, 6:54 pm

It is my belief that an Aspie parent has greater insight in raising their Aspie child. That is something special.

There are different ways to say "I love you". My wife likes flowers. So every chance I get I buy her roses or other flowers. I generally buy them when they are on sale and my wife knows that I buy them on sale and it doesn't bother her. It is my way of telling her I love her.

You might go to marriage counseling but other threats on this site tend to point to the fact that sometimes some of these counselors are more focused on promoting the break up of marriage and divorce. I would recommend something a little different. It is called a Marriage Encounter. It is a weekend retreat where you attend lectures and learn an alternate form of communication. My wife and I went to one of these around 30 years ago and I highly recommend it.

World Wide Marriage Encounter


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d33f
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25 Aug 2019, 12:44 am

Thank you all for your replies! I will take your advice to heart and indeed we can try marriage counseling. I live in the Netherlands in the neighbourhood of Heerlen.



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25 Aug 2019, 12:47 am



A reply in the medium of song.



Raphael F
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26 Aug 2019, 8:54 am

If you believe you have a spiritual bond, then for me that's the most important thing, right there. Does she believe that too? I hope so. And if she does, then surely this situation can be rescued and deserves to be rescued.

I have no experience of relationship counselling, but I have (too) much experience of other kinds of counselling/therapy/professional input. So I know this: most counsellors are not as good as you need them to be! Not even the ones who claim to be ASD-aware really understand what it is to live with ASD. Nobody does, except us.

This may sound silly, but I've got more sense out of astrologers and tarot readers and clairvoyants than I've ever got from the mental health or counselling professions. Of course, most astrologers and tarot readers and clairvoyants are charlatans, just like most shrinks and most counsellors are charlatans, so of course you need to be careful, but if you're thinking about a spiritual bond and how to preserve it, then maybe someone "alternative" would be more use right now than a counsellor with a certificate and a polyester power-suit?

Sincerest good wishes to you and your family.


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rdos
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26 Aug 2019, 9:55 am

Raphael F wrote:
If you believe you have a spiritual bond, then for me that's the most important thing, right there. Does she believe that too? I hope so. And if she does, then surely this situation can be rescued and deserves to be rescued.


I noticed that too and was a bit surprised given that she is presumably NT. I don't think spiritual bonds can be created between neurotypes, and so either she is not NT or there is no bond. Given that they have a child with ASD + ADHD, I suspect that she is not NT.



jimmy m
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26 Aug 2019, 10:40 am

rdos wrote:
I don't think spiritual bonds can be created between neurotypes.


Why?


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27 Aug 2019, 9:00 pm

I hope counseling helps you. Marriage is really difficult, especially with children. Just keep fighting the good fight.


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d33f
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28 Aug 2019, 1:39 pm

Raphael F wrote:
If you believe you have a spiritual bond, then for me that's the most important thing, right there. Does she believe that too? I hope so. And if she does, then surely this situation can be rescued and deserves to be rescued.

I have no experience of relationship counselling, but I have (too) much experience of other kinds of counselling/therapy/professional input. So I know this: most counsellors are not as good as you need them to be! Not even the ones who claim to be ASD-aware really understand what it is to live with ASD. Nobody does, except us.

This may sound silly, but I've got more sense out of astrologers and tarot readers and clairvoyants than I've ever got from the mental health or counselling professions. Of course, most astrologers and tarot readers and clairvoyants are charlatans, just like most shrinks and most counsellors are charlatans, so of course you need to be careful, but if you're thinking about a spiritual bond and how to preserve it, then maybe someone "alternative" would be more use right now than a counsellor with a certificate and a polyester power-suit?

Sincerest good wishes to you and your family.


That's what she tells me, but other times she tries to convince me that we are not a great match (like pointing a finger to me when I don't get the joke and that's because she is extravert and I'm introvert).. To be honest she has problems of her own too. She is in the stage of being diagnosed with DID (or multiple personality disorder). That is the hardest part in our relationship. She can literally swing back and forth within hours and that makes me feel very insecure.

About the counseling today she said she does not have faith that it will work because of my ASD. Other times she thinks it is worth to try. The part of being left in the dark not knowing what she will think / what she really means is hard.

There are even moments when she openly says how much she is irritated with my ASD traits. My point of view is that you will have to accept each others flaws and qualities, just like I accept her flaws. But when I'm getting hurt for who I am that's were lines are crossed.



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28 Aug 2019, 1:45 pm

d33f wrote:
That's what she tells me, but other times she tries to convince me that we are not a great match.. To be honest she has problems of her own too. She is in the stage of being diagnosed with DID (or multiple personality disorder). That is the hardest part in our relationship. She can literally swing back and forth within hours and that makes me feel very insecure.


Ahh, then I understand why you can have a spiritual bond. :wink:

Make use of it the best you can. It can be extremely useful.