Can I convince my ex-husband to get diagnosed?

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sidney
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20 May 2015, 3:46 am

Hello.
I've been following a similar thread here, but since my situation is different, so I'm starting a new one.

I have been divorced for almost 6 years. We have an 8 year old gifted Aspergian and we co-parent. There are many issues there, as my ex doesn't respect the agreements we made. It took me years to get an actual court document that states all the co-parenting agreements. My ex didn't want anything on paper and in the beginning of our co-parenting, didn't even want to have any agreements at all. He didn't want a fixed schedule, he refused mediation after one session (because the mediator 'was in my favor', he said), but after a *lot* of effort, we came to an agreement (all his terms, because the draft agreement the mediating lawyer made, was 'biased towards me', he claimed. There was no bias. He just didn't want to pay child support. So I dropped it, after he sent me hundreds of nasty emails and threats).

Pretty much everything is a battle; when our kid got diagnosed and it became clear he needed a lot of structure, it took me years to get my ex to understand. If my son needs to do homework at his dad's, he usually calls me to ask me to help because 'dad can't help'. My ex gets angry very fast over seemingly futile things, like our son spilling some food, e.g.
When we lived together, he was angry at me almost every day.

I am exhausted. I do most of the work when it comes to our son. He's with me 5 days a week, and everything that is more than basic caretaking, is usually my job. He has never played an active role in getting help for our son. We stopped seeing my kid's first therapist, because she told my ex flat out he didn't cooperate. After she told him that, I got 5 emails, a dozen calls, several facebook messages and facetime calls; he was outraged and of course suspected me of 'conspiring' with the therapist. The second therapist, he didn't want to see at all.
If he buys clothes for our son, he buys them four sizes too big because he doesn't want to spend too much money (which is weird because he has plenty). So I have to buy him clothes that actually fit, after which off course, my ex gets mad at me for 'wasting money'.

He emails me excessively, whenever he 'thinks of something', as he says. He emails me with questions he can get the answer for himself, or with the same questions over and over again, or even a 'can you resend me the email you sent two weeks ago?'. I set a canned response to his email address to try to stop the flood of emails. When he asks for exceptions to the schedule (because he wants to visit his girlfriend or go to a party) and I dare to say no (because I've made plans for myself or because that would get me in trouble with work), he usually gets angry, tells me 'I'm jealous' or I need 'psychiatric help'. I set up a gmail calendar to avoid these abusive emails, but it takes me all the energy in the world to convince him to use it.
When my mom sent him a polite email asking him to take up more responsibility, because he used my mom as his babysitter *a lot* and my mom saw how much was on my plate, he got angry and sent my and his family an email saying 'I was a liar and a psychiatric patient'.

I could go on, but I think it's pretty clear.

My kid's first therapist told me she's pretty sure he's on the spectrum. After so many years of living with him and co-parenting with him, I've come to the same conclusion. I think he's an undiagnosed Aspie that never got the help he needed. There are so many red flags, including mild face-blindness, extreme rigidity, doing and saying social inappropriate things and not being aware of it (like asking his ex-girlfriend, whom he hadn't spoken to in months, to come babysit our kid so he could go the movies; and then not understanding why she got upset). I've mentioned many times that I think he should get tested, I even one day said flat out: 'You're either an a**hole, or an Aspergian. I think the latter, and that is a compliment given the alternative'. He laughed. I sent him the Aspie quiz, he never took it. I recommended a book about Asperger, he doesn't want to read it.

The problem is, he says 'I have no problems'. Every issue he faces is someone else's fault.
I know it is not my responsibility, but I get physically ill from the stress he causes me and think it would be so much easier if he would just accept that his behavior has consequences for me and for our kid, I want him to respect the agreements and realize that I am not a crazy jealous b**ch when I don't do what he wants. I *really* wish him well. Even after all the mental violence I had to go through. He's my kid's dad and I want them to get along. And when he's not angry, he can be a nice dad. Can I convince him to get diagnosed, and if so, how?

Added: I took the Aspie quiz myself. I got 100 NT / 100 Aspie. I make it no secret I have sensory issues and have trouble spotting irony, and sometimes a little context blindness. I do have a very high IQ so I compensate a lot. But I did get meltdowns when we lived together, when he yelled at me for example. Hence the 'you're crazy'-emails he sends.



jimmyboy76453
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20 May 2015, 6:01 am

In my opinion, it is very unlikely that you will ever get him to pursue a diagnosis because, as you state, he thinks there's nothing wrong with him. I would also suggest that his possible ASD is a secondary issue to his... other issues. Unfortunately, you can't control him and will never change him. He has to change himself, and he isn't going to do that. So stop expecting that something will wake him up to what he is doing to everyone around him. The best you can do is minimize your exposure to him. You may not be able to help your son when he is in his dad's care, and that is rough, but you can at least mitigate the effect he has on the times when your son is with you. Don't give him what he asks for; say no to everything but the barest essentials. If he can get stuff from you, he will. Like emails from two weeks ago. If he wants them, he should be responsible to save them. Don't explain, just say, "No, I can't do that." The same with changing visitation or anything else that is outside your agreement. Stop taking care of him. He'll get angry, he'll say abusive things, but he's not your responsibility.
If things are the way you say, than for your son's sake and yours, go back to court if you can and try to get full custody with no visitation. Kids are better off with one good parent that they can rely on than one good parent and one bad parent. Child support (which it sounds like you aren't getting anyway) isn't worth the damage you are doing to your son by exposing him to a father who behaves this way. So what benefit are either of you getting by associating with this man?


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The_Walrus
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20 May 2015, 6:04 am

Quote:
Can I convince him to get diagnosed?

Unfortunately, I think the rest of your post answers that. :(

No idea whether he's actually autistic, because so much of what he does is common with many neurological conditions, but it definitely doesn't look like he's going to be willing to seek a diagnosis.

What do you think it would achieve?



sidney
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20 May 2015, 7:41 am

Thanks for your replies..

Quote:
If things are the way you say, than for your son's sake and yours, go back to court if you can and try to get full custody with no visitation. Kids are better off with one good parent that they can rely on than one good parent and one bad parent. Child support (which it sounds like you aren't getting anyway) isn't worth the damage you are doing to your son by exposing him to a father who behaves this way. So what benefit are either of you getting by associating with this man?


I've thought about this. But I have no legal ground to demand full custody. I've checked this with my lawyer. Even the constant emailing is not illegal, she says.
He's not an awful dad. Most of his anger is directed at me. I ask my son every time he comes home if dad was nice to him. He usually says yes. If he says no, it's because he yelled at him for spilling or for not going to bed. I have made picto's with bed routines for him and that helped. My problem is that I often have to mediate and parent 'from a distance' when my son is there and he has a hard time, because his dad is just not competent enough to be the strong parent in crisis situations.
Make no mistake, if at any point, at any time, he crosses a line with our son, I will go to court. Or the local mobsters.

Quote:
What do you think it would achieve?


I guess I'm hoping for some kind of insight in his behavior towards me.



elkclan
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20 May 2015, 1:01 pm

sounds like you have grounds for going back to court: He doesn't pay child support.

If you don't need the money, then trade time for money.

What he's doing is abusive, as well. I'd look for a new lawyer.

As far as diagnosis goes, I'm not sure what it would achieve. Nothing? Personal satisfaction for you? Are you hoping it would prompt him to get some therapy? Cos, I'm not sure it would.

Good luck.



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20 May 2015, 1:48 pm

No. It's not worth pursuing.

I agree with the idea to limited contact as much as possible and stop taking care of him.


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So you know who just said that:
I am female, I am married
I have two children (one AS and one NT)
I have been diagnosed with Aspergers and MERLD
I have significant chronic medical conditions as well