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ApplesOranges
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26 Jun 2012, 6:25 pm

My husband has not yet been diagnosed, but we are both 100% sure he has Aspergers. I felt some sort of relief in realizing this as it helped me learn how better to communicate, but my husband is having a really hard time. This all came about because he let go on me one night and said some really horrible things and this wasn't the first time. I thought maybe he had AS before, but started doing research. We're in a bad place. I really want to find ways to make our relationship work, but he said the odds are stacked against us and he'll do what he can, but expects we'll be divorced soon. We have a 14 month old and we both cry as we talk about it because we love each other so much and worked so hard to have a child and become a family. Now we are and we're broken.

What do I do? Will being diagnosed and working with a family therapist help? I can't understand his feelings and he can't understand mine. Can someone give me some advice. This is really hard.



SilkySifaka
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26 Jun 2012, 6:56 pm

Oh this sounds like a difficult situation. Please don't lose hope, there are good signs here - you both still love each other, you are still talking and you have what sounds like a much wanted baby together.

If it is possible for you to be in touch with a couples counsellor who specialises in AS then that would be helpful. Family therapy may certainly help, and your husband may be able to learn different strategies if he has a diagnosis. You might want to read the book 'The Other Half of Aspergers Syndrome' and 'The Aspergers Couple's Workbook' both by Maxine Aston. As you read more and more about Aspergers you will be able to understand more about your husband and of course you can ask people here for an Aspergers viewpoint.

It may be very difficult for your husband to understand how you feel, but it's not impossible. You may have to try and separate your own emotions and deal with one at a time. For example if my boyfriend said 'I'm angry, hurt and confused' I wouldn't know what to do or say and I would panic. If he said 'When you said/did X, that made me feel angry. I want you to acknowledge that I am angry' or 'When you said/did X I felt hurt. I want you to reassure me that you did not mean it when you said/did X'. Does that make any sense? If he put it that way then I would understand what was expected of me.

I wish you all the best for your marriage.



ozman
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26 Jun 2012, 10:58 pm

You should read my thread my as- nt marriage. In my case I am the as person who is desperately trying to save my marriage. My nt wife is perhaps not as committed as she is burnt out. U need to see a counselor trained in As as soon as possible. Does your husband want to change? I do hugely? Have U considered a seperation. My wife has left me to reconsider all options and I am struggling and not sure if I can make it myself. Good luck



ApplesOranges
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27 Jun 2012, 12:48 am

Thanks SilkySifaka for the advice regarding the separation of emotions/issues and the book titles. If I break it off into chunks maybe we'll be a little more successful.

Ozman, I will definitely read your thread. I'm so sorry you're going through a hard time as well. My husband wants nothing more than to be a couple, raise our daughter together and be the best of friends, but he's taken the facts he's read about AS very hard. He understands there is a higher divorce rate and he's very much about stats and probability. He told me last night that he feels that it is a lot of pressure knowing this about himself and worried he's going to lose everything. He is willing to go to counseling, but only with someone who understands him. Our last therapy appointment was TRAGIC and we don't speak of it. Within fifteen minutes the therapist attacked him. I told him to leave and when he did she told me to divorce him. She'd never dealt with someone with AS and I never returned.

With that said, he asked me last night if I'd like for him to move out and a trial separation, which broke my heart. I want him to want to dig in with me and figure this out, but I think he believes divorce is a foregone conclusion. Is this typical in any way of AS? Every time we have problems he says he'll do whatever it takes, but then very quickly wants resolution. It's hard to explain that all marriages require care and work. One of the reasons this is so hard is that I had Postpartum Depression and while we were able to very easily deal with issues prior to our lovely daughter's arrival, I became very emotional after. I want him to give me time to get back to normal and I feel like I'm almost there. I don't want to give up because of something I've had no control of, nor because of his inability to understand it.



OddFinn
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27 Jun 2012, 1:01 am

I'm an Aspie and my wife is NT.

Have you read any books by Maxine Aston?

http://www.maxineaston.co.uk/


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ApplesOranges
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27 Jun 2012, 1:18 am

Not yet, but I'm going to order them. I ordered three books recently that we read together. One was Together Alone and for the life of me I can't think of the others right now. You're the second person to recommend Maxine Aston. I'm anxious to read.

Do you and your wife have an agreed upon way to communicate when things are tough?



OddFinn
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27 Jun 2012, 3:15 am

ApplesOranges wrote:
Do you and your wife have an agreed upon way to communicate when things are tough?


Yes, we have agreed on some things, for example to argue about one issue at a time and to say what we mean.

And earmuffs are very handy, they give me the oppurtunity to show when I am no longer able to receive anything.


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Vyacheslav
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27 Jun 2012, 3:26 am

I'm an undiagnosed aspie(nearly 100 o/o sure) with a NT wife. Been married 13 yrs. My wife and I went through really bad times, kind of similar to yours, but no child involved. My wife went through some illness and depression, I had a bottle. We lived together as strangers for quite a long time, not understanding each other. Bad times. One night, my wife was in bed asleep, I stayed up and drank. Came to bed and woke her up to say some not very nice things, expecting, probably hoping for another fight. Boy did she surprise me. Instead of retaliating she stroked my forehead(something very calming for me) and spoke softly to me saying she loved me and that she wanted me in her life, even drinking like I was, that she was on my side. I still don't know why or how she was so nice then, maybe it was some last ditch try, I don't know. Anyways, that sure knocked me on my A** and made me think. And think I did. I realized she was on my side and I was trading someone who loved me for something that was killing me, my drinking. Well, I put away the bottle and started trying to understand this incredible person who could love me so unconditionally. Things have improved steadily for us, with a few bumps along the way, but progressing. Now we are closer and stronger than ever.

Your husband may not feel anyone is on his side, especially after the disaster with the therapist. I think a lot of aspies feel no one understands them or is on their side. I'm no expert and certainly not qualified to give advice. My wife and I never went to a therapist, but if we did and the therapist started attacking her I would give them Hell, and tell them we came there for help not to have the person I love attacked by some unqualified quack and then storm right out.

Again, I'm no expert, but I hope reading about some real life experiences like mine will help. You and your husband may not understand each other, but you can still learn to understand each other better. I'm not recommending any course of action, except to educate yourselves and talking to each other, those can't hurt. It sounds like you're doing these, great for you. Anyways I've rambled enough. I wish you all the luck for you and your family. If you have any questions please feel free to PM me, I may not get back right away, but I'll respond.

Good luck, a very fortunate man.



Jtuk
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27 Jun 2012, 4:13 am

Also try "22 things a Woman Should know if she loves a man with aspergers syndrome" (Rudy Simone) It's quite short, but very practical.

You asked earlier on if having a diagnosis would be helpful. Perhaps given his mental state, it might be worth going through the process? I can understand how this unknown thing hanging over him, might be intruding into his thoughts. Having the diagnosis rejected or confirmed could be equally helpful.

If it's any help to overcoming the obsession with negative statistics, aspergers has a strong genetic component, it is likely that aspergers or autistic traits can be traced through his family. I'm sure there are plenty of examples of successful marriages and relationships in his family?

Jason.



ozman
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27 Jun 2012, 4:23 am

Man in many ways I envy you vyacheslav. I to have undiagnosed aspergers but know I have it. I finally accepted my aspergers and the damage it had done to my wife and agree to get help. What does she do , say I want a seperation. Wish my wife would support me rather than abandoning me. Sure I was not there for her but the minute I accept my as, she bails with my son. Only thing is that she has not closed the door.. See my nt-as marriage thread.

As for apples/oranges therapists comments they are disgraceful. U need to see someone trained in as. I am.



Last edited by ozman on 27 Jun 2012, 4:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

ozman
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27 Jun 2012, 4:25 am

ApplesOranges wrote:
Thanks SilkySifaka for the advice regarding the separation of emotions/issues and the book titles. If I break it off into chunks maybe we'll be a little more successful.

Ozman, I will definitely read your thread. I'm so sorry you're going through a hard time as well. My husband wants nothing more than to be a couple, raise our daughter together and be the best of friends, but he's taken the facts he's read about AS very hard. He understands there is a higher divorce rate and he's very much about stats and probability. He told me last night that he feels that it is a lot of pressure knowing this about himself and worried he's going to lose everything. He is willing to go to counseling, but only with someone who understands him. Our last therapy appointment was TRAGIC and we don't speak of it. Within fifteen minutes the therapist attacked him. I told him to leave and when he did she told me to divorce him. She'd never dealt with someone with AS and I never returned.

With that said, he asked me last night if I'd like for him to move out and a trial separation, which broke my heart. I want him to want to dig in with me and figure this out, but I think he believes divorce is a foregone conclusion. Is this typical in any way of AS? Every time we have problems he says he'll do whatever it takes, but then very quickly wants resolution. It's hard to explain that all marriages require care and work. One of the reasons this is so hard is that I had Postpartum Depression and while we were able to very easily deal with issues prior to our lovely daughter's arrival, I became very emotional after. I want him to give me time to get back to normal and I feel like I'm almost there. I don't want to give up because of something I've had no control of, nor because of his inability to understand it.



You are supportive that's half the battle. I can endorse the books. For me my wife is possibly bailing on me and that's disappointing for me. I know I can offer a lot.



ozman
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27 Jun 2012, 4:51 am

ApplesOranges wrote:
Thanks SilkySifaka for the advice regarding the separation of emotions/issues and the book titles. If I break it off into chunks maybe we'll be a little more successful.


With that said, he asked me last night if I'd like for him to move out and a trial separation, which broke my heart. I want him to want to dig in with me and figure this out, but I think he believes divorce is a foregone conclusion. Is this typical in any way of AS? it.



For some it unfortunately is that black and white. But you are hanging in there and keep trying. If I could offer any further advice please let me know. Are there any support groups nearby for you or him? He may listen to other apies.



ApplesOranges
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28 Jun 2012, 1:28 am

Wow, thanks to all. This has been helpful.

We are quite positive that my father in law has Asperger's as well. My husband actually called it. When I told him that the mean comments were chipping away at me he said he felt like he was watching his parents marriage crumble all over again and it scared him. He recalled the day his dad yelled at his mom in the car because something she did seemed stupid. She finally screamed at him that she was done and that was that. She couldn't take it anymore. She has refused to ever marry again and has been alone for almost 20 years. He called his dad and they agreed they were very alike. His dad is on his fourth marriage and it is very unhappy for the same reasons my husband and I are having problems. While I'm not sure his mom or sister have it, they are very hard for me to communicate with and tend to be very task oriented and unemotional.

Yes, I was disgusted by the therapist. I left a few minutes after he did (I had to pay and tell her I wouldn't be returning) and he was in a bad place. So was I. I explained to him that I left because she was completely out of line, shouldn't have taken sides and I was furious with BOTH of them. He said some really harsh things that were directed at me, so I thought they both were jerks at that moment! He laughed because he was relieved and we promised we'd never discuss it again. It was so raw and ugly. Maybe I should have yelled at her in front of him, but I have a tendency to be very calm in the moment and handle things quietly yet directly. It has been a good and a bad thing for us. He'd rather I tell him at the moment I'm upset, but sometimes I wonder if it is worth it to pick at the small stuff. I also have learned to stay calm as I don't want to say something I'll regret.

I did read the Twenty Things book. It kind of scared me. I'll leave it at that.

One positive thing - he asked me to write down the things I need in a notebook we bought over Christmas. We call it our Marriage Book. He said he needs things in writing so he can remember them, so I tried it earlier this year and every thing I wrote down (three things) that would make me happy have little checkmarks next to them with a note that he loves me. So, he asked me to write again. I added three more things based on our recent issues and tonight I saw that he has been looking at the book. I told him he could write things he'd like for me to know or be considerate of as well, but he said he's very happy and that is why all of this stuff has been hard for him. He's still a little raw, so I think I'm going to see if I can find a therapist that deals with AS, maybe go alone at first and then ease him into the idea of getting diagnosed. I can tell this is weighing on him.



ozman
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28 Jun 2012, 5:39 am

I am not diagnosed and don't need to be to know I have it. I wouldn't pressure for a diagnosis. Seeing a therapist trained in as is the most important thing. Don't be afraid for time or space apart also. It can help both of you. Good luck I wish my wife was as supportive as you are.