How can I help my AS husband to understand me & act on i

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FiveEggsIn
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11 Jul 2009, 7:20 pm

themainmeal wrote:
FiveEggsIn , my Mother was a staunch Irish Catholic and my Father had no religious bias..Their marriage broke up when I was 4, I know now that it was my Father AS that made marriage unbearable for him, i have been through the exact same trials he went through, but his lack of personal faith and my Mothers unbending view of life and marriage and how it should be simply didn't work ( back then my Mother was not introspective ). This marred my view of Catholicism, as from what I saw my Mother 'Bullied' my Father , I understand physicsgirl point of view, but I do not think you are doing the same thing to your husband..

Are you both ( you and your husband) of the same train of thought regarding marriage?, It appears that you are prepared to do, introspect, read etc etc whatever it takes to make it work...Does he feel the same way, is he prepared to do whatever he can do to make it work? ..

Themainmeal, I appreciate you and physicsgirl sharing how your parents not sharing the same views on marriage and at least in your case your father's AS being part of the complication led to the breakdown of their marriages following your mothers becoming stressed enough to bully and even become abusive to your fathers, and how it has hurt you to this day. I do not think myself immune from this and will take efforts to guard against it.

My husband is quite clear to me and to others that he does have the same view of marriage and that he's prepared to do what it takes to make it last. That's been hard for me to reconcile with his actions when he doesn't do what it takes, but continues assuring me that he wants to and is doing what he can. If I say, "OK, then all I need right now is for you to please help me by doing a load of dishes and wiping all the kitchen counters clean and I'll feel much better about what we have to get done and more comfortable with your support." and he says that he can do that no problem, but then he doesn't do it, but still he doesn't know why he didn't do it and has every intention of doing what it takes, I start to wonder what it means to him. I haven't had a chance to discuss what you said about trying to fix everything and of not storing emotional memories yet, but something along those lines would make a little more sense in reconciling his words with his actions.

Since discussing alexithymia, he's been trying to make an effort to identify when he's feeling nervous, excited, happy, frustrated, etc instead of just OK. It isn't easy for him at all, but today alone I noticed that he felt more comfortable with showing joy. I was really amazed. I'm getting a little teary-eyed. Other women "feel" in love when their husbands bring cards or candies, but I do when my husband smiles big at me with his eyes twinkling and says, "I'm excited!" Wow. That tiny little thing and it is because of this thread. I'm very grateful for all of you looking past my own hurts and trying to help us.



themainmeal
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12 Jul 2009, 3:47 am

FiveEggsIn wrote:


My husband is quite clear to me and to others that he does have the same view of marriage and that he's prepared to do what it takes to make it last. That's been hard for me to reconcile with his actions when he doesn't do what it takes, but continues assuring me that he wants to and is doing what he can. If I say, "OK, then all I need right now is for you to please help me by doing a load of dishes and wiping all the kitchen counters clean and I'll feel much better about what we have to get done and more comfortable with your support." and he says that he can do that no problem, but then he doesn't do it, but still he doesn't know why he didn't do it and has every intention of doing what it takes, I start to wonder what it means to him. I haven't had a chance to discuss what you said about trying to fix everything and of not storing emotional memories yet, but something along those lines would make a little more sense in reconciling his words with his actions.


I do not say I will do anything anymore, we have been through what you have described, naturally this would eventually spell the end of our marriage if I did nothing to help in the house at all, so they way out for me is to routinely do the dishes and the washing, independently of my wife...I cannot be told what to do no matter how nice or reasonable it is put, I actually have a really really strong aversion to any suggestion that even remotely sounds like a request for me to do something...It is simply a matter of if it doesn't come out of my mind I won't do it, or if I do do it, it will come at a price ( I will become an arsehole to wife and kids, get drunk, get depressed etc )...Another strategy for us, and I am very ok with this, is my wife will trick me into thinking I have come up with an idea...That seems to be the main thing, I have to come up with it..

A routine for me, especially if it entails doing an undesireable chore takes 3 days...in those 3 days I will not take to the new regime easily, so it is best for wife to not offer any words of 'encouragement' or 'annoyance' I will just get on with it, then after the 3rd day, I do it automatically without thinking...

Your choice of words shows remarkable patience and understanding "OK, then all I need right now is for you to please help me by doing a load of dishes and wiping all the kitchen counters clean and I'll feel much better about what we have to get done and more comfortable with your support." ..I wish I could say that it would make a difference, for me all I see is 'do the dishes and wipe up' it wouldn't matter if you said " your such a lazy ass, you help me or I swear to God I'll find someone else who will" it still translates as 'do the dishes and wipe up"....The more words surrounding a request or question the more stress producing it is, it is comparable to a basic sum 1+2=3 is far easire to process then 'Bill had a basket containing 1 apple, he went to the market and bought another 2 apples how many apples does he now have ?'...

take care

Guy



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12 Jul 2009, 4:29 am

Understanding another is difficult for anybody. Do you think your husband accepts you? Isn't acceptance at least as important as understanding in a relationship? I know couples who've been together for decades who still joke that they don't really understand each other. The important thing is that they accept each other.

Did he *ever* understand you? If at some point he has, then you have to wonder what has changed, what has happened since? If he never has, then the question may be "how come something that didn't used to be important to you has now become so important".

Apologies for the "if..then..else" computer programming approach... :)


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FiveEggsIn
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12 Jul 2009, 12:59 pm

themainmeal wrote:
Your choice of words shows remarkable patience and understanding "OK, then all I need right now is for you to please help me by doing a load of dishes and wiping all the kitchen counters clean and I'll feel much better about what we have to get done and more comfortable with your support." ..I wish I could say that it would make a difference, for me all I see is 'do the dishes and wipe up' it wouldn't matter if you said " your such a lazy ass, you help me or I swear to God I'll find someone else who will" it still translates as 'do the dishes and wipe up"....The more words surrounding a request or question the more stress producing it is, it is comparable to a basic sum 1+2=3 is far easire to process then 'Bill had a basket containing 1 apple, he went to the market and bought another 2 apples how many apples does he now have ?'...

take care

Guy

Unfortunately, I have said hurtful things similar to the latter, too, when I have felt like there's nothing else to try. The only time he really pays attention is when I get to the point that I'm throwing a massive fit. I don't like it and don't want it. We discuss this (meaning I point it out) whenever something is important to me and I'm not being emotional in discussing it. He acknowledges and then does nothing usually. Enough times of that cycle repeating and escalating and I become angry and discouraged. I'm hoping to completely eliminate that cycle.

I have noticed that my husband appears to feel sad, rejected, and hopeless when we reach this point. He's far more paralyzed than usual. It is very rare, but sometimes he'll even have a few tears. If I ask him how he feels, he tells me he doesn't know and acts like nothing is wrong. It leaves me feeling completely unable to communicate.

ManErg wrote:
Understanding another is difficult for anybody. Do you think your husband accepts you? Isn't acceptance at least as important as understanding in a relationship? I know couples who've been together for decades who still joke that they don't really understand each other. The important thing is that they accept each other.

Did he *ever* understand you? If at some point he has, then you have to wonder what has changed, what has happened since? If he never has, then the question may be "how come something that didn't used to be important to you has now become so important".

Apologies for the "if..then..else" computer programming approach...

This has been an extremely difficult point for me. I do feel that he understood me and was able to meet my emotional needs before we married and that things have changed since then. If he was able to do it before, why isn't he now? Understanding Asperger's has given me some temporary reconciliation. When we were dating, I was his passion. He wanted to know everything about me and spent lots of time getting to know me and pursuing a relationship with me. When he had done so and we were married, he moved on to other passions.

I have a fear about this because I've consistently seen what he does in these circumstances. For a while, he maintains that he is interested in continuing with the first passion but never does anything about that. Then he starts making statements to distance himself from the first passion like referencing the cost or the heat or the restrictions, but still saying he is interested in it. Then he just ignores the first passion like it doesn't exist for a long while. Then he decides to reject it completely, to sell things he only had for that passion, and to no longer have an attachment. It is my fear that I'll eventually be discarded like all the other passions. He says that I am different, but I don't see him treating me any differently than he does any of the rest so I find that very hard to believe at times. Yes, he accepts me, but I wonder how long that will last because he accepts anything in his life at the present but works to distance himself to the point of parallel lives in order to reject something and I often feel that is what we now have. He doesn't seem to know me any longer, or to care to, so what he's accepting seems to be my presence, not me. I really don't have any greater insights, which is frustrating and discouraging itself.



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19 Jul 2009, 3:43 pm

I left a post on your blog, but wanted to add some things here.

I am AS, husband is ADD. Actually, our husbands sound a lot alike. If I press him to find out how he feels, that will be a surefire way to get him to shut down and not talk to me at all. We have discussions where neither of us remember anything we've said. This is his personality moreso than his ADD. Marriage and children change a lot of things, for both people.

I also know I don't do well when I feel *any* kind of pressure from my husband to change. I am always willing to change, but the transition takes some time. If I am reminded, I will shut down. This is unfortunate, I wish it wasn't this way.

Maybe acceptance on both sides would help? I hope you find peace.



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19 Jul 2009, 5:28 pm

I am an AS female and I have the same issues with my AS boyfriend. I think the problems lie with the fact that I am hyper-emotional whereas he is alexythymic.

One thing not to ask an alexithymic is "How do you feel?" because they often dont really have an answer. It is not that they dont have feelings but they cant put them into words... they sort of have wordless sensations in their mind which other people would interpret as feelings but they cant really identify them all properly.

He is a really wonderful person, loyal and caring, though absorbed in his interests. I feel I have caused him a lot of stress by trying to ascertain his feelings all the time, though it is nobody's fault really, its just that we are very different even though we are both on the spectrum.


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23 Jul 2009, 4:09 am

I can see a disturbing pattern emerging here for you FiveEggs. I am AS and I was married. I remember myself being exactly the same as your husband is now. When I was dating my X wife I thought the world of her, I wanted to be the most caring and suportive husband there could be. After marriage something does seem to change. I think that once you are married you loose the whole love affair, couple, partnership thing. It becomes replaced with a set of rules and regulations that each individual must abide by. As Themainmeal has suggested he would not want to do anything he was asked to do, he'd only do it if he thought of it. You would probably find that guys like me and Themainmeal would gladly do anything for you, but if you ask us to do something we only hear it as a demand to do a task no matter how pretty it was made to sound.

I don't know how I feel trying to explain this, just like your husband may not know how to feel. I have just been discussing the same thing on another thread. I am in a BF/GF relationship at the moment, she is wanting it to go further, but I have serious doubts that its going to work out in the long run. I am allready loosing interest because I can see that if things were to develop further then I would end up being the servant of someone else giving orders. Because I've been there before. Discussions with my X would start out like, she would say, "I think we should get a bigger TV" I say "We don't need a new TV" she sais "Wouldn't it be nice to have a bigger TV" I say "I wouldn't like to pay for a bigger TV" she sais "the kids would like a bigger TV" I say "ok then if you realy want one that bad then get one". Then I would have just given in and the cycle repeats itself through every question she asks. I would just simply agree, my own opinion meant nothing so why give it. Does that sound like your guy?

Because I and many like me don't have the social skills to maintain a conversation and to end one to our advantage, theres probably heaps like me. How many AS people in a conversation just say YES NO YES NO YES, WHATEVER. Because we can't compete with NT superior social and verbal skills.
It is exhausting for us to maintain the continual effort of compromise and NT's way of discussion to us appears like an argument.

I probably sound cranky at the moment and thats because I am feeling like Sh£" and I am wondering wether or not to end my own relationship before it gets too far out of control and I loose another partner.



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23 Jul 2009, 10:29 am

AussieAspie wrote:
Because I and many like me don't have the social skills to maintain a conversation and to end one to our advantage, theres probably heaps like me. How many AS people in a conversation just say YES NO YES NO YES, WHATEVER. Because we can't compete with NT superior social and verbal skills.


I have to raise my hand here. That happens often. And sometimes the option where I gave in turns out to have been a mistake, and I get the blame. Even though I opposed it first, and gave the explanation what would happen, and then it happened. They say: "Ok, you said it. But why did you not say it strongly enough?"


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FiveEggsIn
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23 Jul 2009, 10:30 am

Cranky is fine by me! I think I'm currently far past that state so I appreciate you trying to help me.

The conversation you outlined is something like how ours go, but not exactly. The two main complaints I have in such conversations is that he says to buy things (for himself or me) if it is wanted with no consideration given to if it is able to be afforded at the time. If I push, he just says, "Well, if you want it, we'll get the money for it." The second is that I can't get him to give his opinion or I think that he's given it when later I find out that he didn't support it. I tell him it isn't fair to bring up problems after it is done when I came to him and asked for his input before and he refused to give it. Here's how our conversations might go...

Me: Hey, honey, what do you think about going out with the Doe family on their boat in November?
Him: November?
Me: Yes, they have every weekend of November open. One weekend is obviously Thanksgiving. Will your family be in town?
Him: I don't know.
Me: Do you want to go boating with the Does?
Him: Uhhhhh...
Me: waiting for an eternity to give him time to think
Me: So?
Him: What was the question?
Me: Do you want to go boating with the Does? (If he said no, I would ask about why to see if it was something we could address but if he just didn't want to go on the boat then I wouldn't push him to anyway.)
Him: Oh yeah.
Me: OK, then do you want to go on a weekend in November?
Him: OK.
Me: Do we need to work around any family visits?
Him: I don't know.
Me: OK, why don't you call your family and find out their plans tomorrow and then I can let Jane know after that.
Him: OK.

Then tomorrow comes, he doesn't call, I get frustrated and all but dial the phone for him, he calls and says they aren't coming into town.

Me: Then what do you think about going over Thanksgiving weekend? You have off already, we don't have anything else to do, and that would be fun.
Him: OK
Me: Is there something else you want to do over Thanksgiving?
Him: No
Me: Because if there is, we can schedule it for any other weekend in November, too.
Him: No, that's fine.
Me: Do you know what other weekends you have off in November?
Him: I assume I'm working all but Thanksgiving.
Me: Do you want to wait until Thanksgiving is closer before we schedule it?
Him: No, that's OK.
Me: OK, then I'll tell Jane that we're on for Thanksgiving weekend.
Him: OK.

Then Thanksgiving weekend comes and he's sullen and grumpy and I ask a million questions to find out why. His family is in town and he told them he couldn't see them. Or he was scheduled to work that weekend and had to take off and ticked off the boss. Or someone else invited us to Thanksgiving and he wanted to go there over this. It is like I'm supposed to read his mind! And the same would happen no matter when I'd scheduled it. And if I waited, it would never be scheduled at all. But he never tells me any of this and gets mad at ME for not knowing. He might even say, "You should have known that my family might come because my aunt made a reference to wanting to see us this year." And he really believes it! And if I say that he said he wanted to go, he'll quote the conversation back and say he never specifically said he wanted to. He just said "oh yeah" in response to what the question was, not an answer to it. I feel like I can't win and always have to cover my butt in any conversation. So frustrating trying to have any fruitful communication.



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24 Jul 2009, 2:59 am

Hi;
Am an AS man with an NT wife.
To me, some of this is sounding like stuff outside of AS-causes. Somewhere, some years ago, read material addressing a lot like this for regular NT people couples. Can't for anything think right now what it was named. :?

Do hear your frustration, it runs deep.

I wonder if there may even be elements of some kind of passive-aggressive control thing going on.

Taking one small example segment out of the whole, here's how to ask this in a way that would be an easier start for me;

FiveEggsIn wrote:
Me: Hey, honey, what do you think about going out with the Doe family on their boat in November?


"Honey, the Does have invited us to share Thanksgiving weekend on their boat, I'd like to go. Would you?"
Even so, there's even 2 ways to look at that rendition:
1. the "I'd like to go" comes across as coercion pressure - if you don't agree I won't be happy
2. the "I'd like to go" provides info on what the wife desires and what would please her - ah, this is something I can do which she would like

Asking that way sets up a not-overwhelming simple range of yes or no response.

It may be the initial range of open possibilities of answers to the original question create an overwhelming sensation which is never recovered from in that conversation.

Then, there's another thing I run into. Said with understanding I'm not the same as your guy and my wife is not the same as you.
She wants to go, I want to please her. I'm supposed to enjoy these things, that's what NTs do. Okay, that's the "right" thing to do. But I don't want to - these things are hard for me to do. But I'm supposed to enjoy these things, that's what NTs do. Okay, I'll say yes. I resent having to do something I don't want to do to look like I'm doing the "right" thing.
But if I say anything about that I'll hurt her feelings

And later my resentment pops out at a really awkward time. :( :oops:


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26 Jul 2009, 3:04 pm

This thread has been really eye-opening for me. Some of the statements hit me like a slap in the face, even. I would say in a lot of ways I'm very similar to your husband, 5eggs. The differences between us may be only the severity of the condition, because my wife holds the same frustrations and patterns of escalations as you. So I'd really like to say that I find your dedication and effort extremely praiseworthy. Many people would have given up on this relationship as soon as the problems became overwhelming the first time, or as soon as he repeated his behaviours more than once.

I too suffer from alexithymia and, although undiagnosed, I suspect AS. I've just started taking antidepressants (Celexa) to hopefully help tackle this hindrance to knowing myself and how I affect those close to me. Your long response on the first page showed a lot of insight in terms of how you feel a solution would improve your lives, and I wholeheartedly agree. However, reading some of the other responses, I also feel a bit "brainwashed" by my wife. I blame myself for a lot of things, and feel that I'm the one who needs to make all the changes since it's my inabilities that hold the most sway over the situation. I do set myself up to be controlled though. In the same way as seeing every statement as a question, from the very beginning I heard every complaint not as a way to vent and share frustration, but as a request that something be done. I took to the "butler" role that you describe on your blog post.

At the same time, I find my patterns of behaviour are sometimes intentionally (although subconsciously) set up to manipulate and guilt. The avoidance and passive aggression form a paradox with things like validation-seeking and dependence. Resentment builds up, scapegoating, all that good stuff. I wonder how much of this is present in your husband. My assumption is that, being AS, he at least has a strong analytical ability to be able to put your emotional responses together logically. Like in the Thanksgiving conversation you provided, he should be able to logically figure out that you would be upset by his behaviour. The question is then, is his AS so severe that he cannot understand or empathize with any emotional response? Or is there something else going on? I hope I'm wrong, but maybe his stubbornness or passive rebelliousness are tactics to "get back at you" for perceived injustices.

I'm really glad you posted this here, and I hope we're able to help further and that the situation improves. I'm wary about the prognosis, especially as you describe his behaviour with other "passions". I've dealt too much with the pathology of this dynamic, and like your husband sounds, I can be pretty pessimistic too. Very, according to my wife. I'm looking forward to discussing further with you though!

Marc


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FiveEggsIn
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26 Jul 2009, 6:47 pm

Hi Marc!

My husband's in one of his random happy moods so I haven't been discussing any of this with him as I don't want to do anything to change that. I've found no consistency in when he goes into a good mood but I know very well what will throw him out of it. :) When he's in a good mood, he is volunteering thoughts and physical affection and he's far less likely to argue and more likely to find common ground and to want to please.

I do believe when he's in a bad mood that he feels taken advantage of and like he's the one doing everything and the only one expected to bend. His versions of reality are pretty distorted in my opinion because he's only got his side and it isn't like he's not valuing my side but like he doesn't even have it in his mind to factor in. Everything I've done to that point is like it never existed and we're completely in the moment. When we get to that point, I do believe it is all on him to move us forward and I can't find a way of effectively communicating that. I don't mean that I have no room for improvement because I have plenty.

I'll use an analogy. We're in a game show where we have to go through 10 stations to complete the challenge and get the score. At the first station, we work together and pass it easily. At the second station, we work together but it relies a lot on height so my husband does more of the work. At the third station, we work together but it relies more on fine motor skill so I do more of the work. Things are pretty equal still, we're cruising through them, and we both feel positive and hopeful. At the fourth station, it requires knowledge of astronomy which neither of us has. We talk it out quickly and take a guess and manage to get it right. Phew! That was stressful as neither of us knew what we were doing, but we happened to guess right and we can move on. We aren't feeling the same level of confidence now, though. At the fifth station, it requires knowledge of make-up. My husband has no idea and it is on me. I know it and we move on. Yay me! At the sixth station, it requires knowledge of a book only my husband has read. I have no idea and it is on him. He knows it and we move on. Yay Andrew! So we've addressed issues in a lot of ways, but still feel like we're great equals. For the seventh station, the requirement is that Andrew must do a relay race on his own. Once he finishes that, I'll do one for the eighth challenge. But he just stands there. He doesn't move. I cheer him on. I point out how it can be accomplished. I try to push him forward. But he just stands and stares with no emotion. Maybe he wanders off at this point to go eat. Can you imagine?!

If he did his part, it is still quite possible that I'll fail at mine. I have to still do my part to get us through. The entire challenges isn't on him. But I can't do anything at all until he does his part. I'm helpless at this point. The pressure is completely on him. It doesn't mean he's had to do everything or that I have nothing to do. We're just stuck until he does his part. That's how I feel when I tell my husband that the ball is in his court or in any way try to communicate that he is the one who needs to act. Once he does, it opens up the possibilities for us and for my involvement again. When we look back, we'll see that it all balanced out and was equal, but in the moment it is all on him.

What is really frustrating is that our usual pattern is slightly different. What usually happens for us is that we have time to discuss our strategy before the challenge starts. We decide that in station 4 he will go right to choose the joint challenge because we don't think he can handle the stress of the individual challenge that will come at station 7 if he goes left. Then instead he goes left anyway. I ask him what happened and his answer isn't anything like, "I don't know! I thought I went right and didn't realize otherwise in the rush until they said afterwards what I'd chosen." Then I wouldn't be angry. I'd want to comfort him. Instead he just calmly and evenly provocatively says, "I don't know. We didn't decide I'd go right. You said you wanted me to go left." What can I say to that? It is now my fault that he did exactly what he said he wouldn't and just as we discussed we now lost the challenge when he couldn't do what we knew he couldn't but he put himself in the situation of doing anyway. First I try to be unemotional and analytical. When he persists then I get mad, defensive, and uncooperative. I tell him it is all his fault. There was nothing more I could do and he put us in the position then didn't do his part. He just shrugs. Oh ho ho! That really gets me. Now it is my fault and he doesn't care? He's in the dog house! But then he gets this attitude like I expect too much from him and that he has to bend too much and like he did more than his fair share throughout while I sat there telling him what to do. He talks about what he did at this stage and at that one like I did nothing. The whole conversation at that point goes downhill quickly, not that it started in a good place.

The ideal situation would have first had him talking openly about his thoughts on the situation when we were in the discuss phase if he thought at that point he should do something different than what we agreed on. I would have given my opinion, which might have disagreed, but I would respect his and agree together with him on something. Let's assume he didn't disagree at the time. OK, so next he would have taken responsibility for deviating from the agreement when it happened. "I'm sorry. I know I agreed to go right but when I got there I thought I was running out of time and going left would be faster, so I figured it didn't matter what the individual station's challenge was if I didn't pass this station that we would lose." I could understand that and if he eventually froze at the individual level I wouldn't be upset but would be happy that he'd made a decision that bought us 4 more stations, even if I was disappointed it wouldn't be with him. But let's assume he accidentally went the wrong way and in the stress he didn't talk with me about what happened. So we get to the individual station and he freezes and I'm frustrated and not understanding and putting it all on him and he can't do it and we lose. I'm going to be disappointed with him, but he can still apologize and explain what happened and I won't be angry with him because understanding it I can see it and know he couldn't have done more with the challenge circumstances. He still could have talked to me so I would understand and have realistic expectations, so I'm not going to be happy with him, but I won't also be upset by his freezing.

So these points of volunteering info I didn't have were completely on him. If he told me right from the start and I was a jerk and started cussing him out and saying how stupid he was then it would be on me, but we aren't getting to that point. And it doesn't matter how many questions I ask or how I word them. If we get into this cycle, we don't get out of it.

Right now, in his good mood, we never get into this cycle. He volunteers info. We talk and agree. He's open and respectful. We sometimes do what he suggests, sometimes what I suggest, sometimes something completely different that came from the discussion. Stress levels, people in his life, particular issues, my actions, nothing consistently predicts what will bring about these good times. I know he can do it from these times, so it is much more frustrating during the hard times when he isn't volunteering info and I don't understand what is going on and have no power to change it.

I think if I continue that I'll just go in circles. I lost this a couple times so I'm just going to hit submit and hope you and others pick out pertinent parts to discuss.



peterd
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27 Jul 2009, 4:45 am

Yes, you're right. It is he who needs to make the additional effort. Adult diagnosis carries with it a danger of this sort of depression or fatalism because it is so final. You're aspie, you'll always be aspie, and nothing you can do will change that.

There are, of course, things you can do to improve your adaptation to it. But, unless you're very lucky - and avoiding diagnosis until an advanced age is a mixed bag of good and evil luck - you're not going to know which ones they are until afterwards. Long afterwards.

At least aspergers isn't life threatening (unless you annoy the wrong person). When you live in a universe that only has one person in it, though, life can be a torturously twisting sort of process.



Neolmas
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27 Jul 2009, 5:54 am

Eliza, you, like my wife, pour a tremendous amount of effort into understanding and trying to improve things. I have described my wife as a jackhammer in terms of her persistence in trying to find a solution. Forget sleeping on it, no sleep can occur without some kind of resolution. On the other end, your husband, like me, is prone to avoidance and in a way neglect. To ignore the situation in the hopes that it will somehow dissipate is a very common tactic. Despite contrary claims, it seems that we're willing to put very little effort into improving our ends of things.

I don't know how true that is for Andrew. It sounds like he has phases of alternate cooperation and stubbornness, without any triggers that you can detect. There may be triggers that you wouldn't suspect, but he would have no idea about these either, that's a hallmark of alexithymia. So it may certainly benefit him to look into his condition as an imbalance in his mental chemicals.

You're right about the fact moving forward through this junction in your lives is up to him. You are doing what you can to improve things, and he must pull his own weight. I'm sure you've heard from many people that you are too giving and too forgiving. That he needs to be held accountable and not be allowed to "have it easy" in this situation. And I know how far Catholic guilt can go in pressuring you to take the blame for things and prompt you to take the lion's share of responsibility.

I'm not one to be able (at this point) to understand on a personal level the emotions you have. I can give lots of analysis to try to convince others that I do understand, but I don't think that's helpful. My advice is to do what you need to do to not be so affected by his behaviours. If that involves somehow distancing yourself from certain things he does, that may actually turn out better for everyone involved. I think there's a lot of trial and error though, and I know there is worry of a solution being "permanently rejected" through unfortunate associations.


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"We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive." - Einstein


FiveEggsIn
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06 Aug 2009, 2:05 pm

peterd wrote:
At least aspergers isn't life threatening (unless you annoy the wrong person).

:lol:

Thank you both for the validation. I read it shortly after you wrote it, but have been letting everything sort of seep and settle before I responded. Neolmas, your wife and I do sound alike. :)