Help: What changes can I make to make our marriage work?

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loco467
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Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Age: 33
Gender: Female
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Location: Canada

01 Oct 2015, 10:15 am

Sorry to share this novel-length post with you guys but I wrote this yesterday on the forum but it wouldn't post. Obviously, my husband and I talked and everything is much better today but, this is what happened yesterday. Below that, is a post I wrote on my blog about what I plan on doing about what happened.

Quote:
Years ago, he accused me of cheating on him. You can read the old posts here http://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=190731. This was back at a time when he would stay up all night reading, searching for something. He always had a different obsession he had to learn about. He would neglect to eat or sleep or even bathe himself. After all of that blew over, he got better. In fact, most of the time, he seems "pretty normal" although people still kind of treat him like's he's aloof. But he's become more social, he has lots of friends now. I don't know. Dareisay, he's "changed for the better."

Our eldest started kindergarten in September. My husband has never been a huge participant in home/family life. I know he loves our kids and he loves me but when he gets home from work, he usually spends time alone in the garage reading, drinking and smoking. He's not a mean drunk or anything; he just can't stand the stimuli in the house and I guess he tries to get away from it by going outside (and drinking and smoking). I hope you guys can understand why doing that really alienates him from his family and makes me feel pretty lonely. (My mom is battling cancer and lives with us. My dad just passed away. I've had three births and two miscarriages. So, I've got a lot on my plate. And I always feel alone even though my husband is always with me.)

I don't know what happened over the past few weeks. Maybe it's because I've been so unhappy with him. But, with our daughter starting school this month, it put more pressure on me to make sure she made it to school on time every morning. I've been helping her with her homework, preparing her lunches -- there's all these added "things to do" but he hasn't changed his level of participation so, it pretty much just falls on me to do it all. So, that's been hanging over our heads. Last week, I blew up and angrily expressed how disappointed I was. One morning, while he was sober, we had what I thought was a very productive conversation. But that night, he got home from work, drank a little and then he was a different person again. Cold, unreasonable and mean (although he thinks he's reasonable because he's a logical thinker, and I know he doesn't mean to be mean).

I have a tendency to neglect myself when I'm stressed out. I tend to take care of everybody's needs and ignore my own. So, as a completely spontaneous treat to myself, I decided to get a massage last night. I called my husband at 4:30 to let him know I had booked an appointment for 6:30 p.m. I told him it would take at least an hour plus travel time. Because of the kids, I was late for my appointment. I actually didn't finish until about 8 p.m. I noticed that he was calling me non-stop.

When I got home, the first thing he did was go to my car and measure the passenger seat to see the size of whoever had sat in it. Instinctively knowing something was wrong, I followed him. He immediately implied that one of his best friends was just as tall and was the likely person to have sat in this seat. I knew exactly where his thought process was going and I blew up. I was so upset. After all this time, after we got over this whole trust thing, he went back to it. And then, he said my behaviour was proof of my betrayal. OMG. I knew I wouldn't win this argument but it went on.

I feel like every time I'm unhappy with him, rather than admitting that he may have contributed to the problem, he likes to place the blame on me and come up with these elabroate stories that I'm cheating on him.

He began to behave erratically. He pinned me down on the bed, held my ankles tight (it hurt) and began to undress me as if he was going to check to see if I had just had sex. I fought back. I kicked him and I punched him, and asked him to get off me.

Anyway, there was some yelling and him constantly asking me to "tell him the truth." I had no idea what truth he wanted me to tell but I could only assume it was that I had gone somewhere for two hours to commit adultery. It got so bad, I was bawling my eyes out. I had a panic attack. I was hyperventilating. I almost went to the garage to hurt myself. I know I shouldn't let him do that to me. But even though he's calm and he doesn't physically hurt me, he was a way of making me feel worthless.

Because of his behaviour, I called his friend to talk him down not realizing that in his head, that was me warning his friend so we can get our stories straight. So, me calling his friend, confirmed in his head that we were sleeping together. It's so ridiculous to even write down and try to follow. This thought process is so ridiculous.

I tried to stay away from him. Fast forward a few hours later. It's about 11:30 p.m. He'd been outside smoking and drinking for a couple of hours. He came into our bedroom, walked into our bathroom and did some stuff in there. Then, he swung the door open and started muttering stuff -- not in a crazy way -- just like talking. I don't know if he was talking to me but I assume he was. At this point, I was half asleep so I tried to ignore him. After a little argument, he left the room and I fell asleep again.

Shortly after, he came back in, banged his cane on the bed and woke me up again. Long story short, he was muttering and following me around the house. When I tried to lock myself in our bedroom, HE BROKE THE DOOR DOWN. Then, he was hovering over me when I tried to go back to sleep. At one point, he stood outside the door. Just stood there. Blankly. In the dark.

I got nervous and I called the police and asked them to take him away. They took him to a shelter where he spent the night. I went to the shelter this morning. He was a mess. He was shaking and crying. He was having a meltdown.

Now, when I tell other people this story, they're going to think he's some crazy lunatic. But, I hope when you read this, you read it from the context that he's AS. Please tell me what to do.

He's asked me now (even though I didn't do anything wrong) for a break. He said he needs to figure out whether I really love him and want to be with him.

I didn't cheat on him. I went to get a massage. I don't know what to do.

Please know, my husband has never and I don't believe he ever will physically harm me. He's never beaten me. He's never done anything physically violent. But, it got a little rough last night because I was fighting him when he was trying to "check me." I thought that was crossing the line and I wouldn't let him. He didn't yell at me. But, in his own cold, calm and "matter-of-fact" way, he was belittling me. He kept telling me to tell him the truth, even though I had. I felt like one of those suspects that are being coerced into a confession. But I stuck to my story because it was the truth. I'm no liar.

I've noticed that he hasn't been eating well. His hygiene has been okay. He's been bathing regularly. But, definitely, he hasn't been eating well or sleeping well. I don't know if that's why he's behaving this way. He's sometimes a little paranoid (although he hates being told that) but he's obviously REALLY paranoid right now. Even though the truth doesn't match his story, he still believes his story is true.

It turns out that his best friend, who I called for help, also had an appointment at about 6:30 p.m. and my husband called him non-stop while I was out. So, his friend knew something was wrong, too. But I had no idea that that guy had an appointment at the same time that I did. So, when I got home, I was surprised at how he was acting. Even the thing with the passenger's seat. The night before, my husband sat in the passenger's seat because I drove to the grocery store and he insisted on coming. So, the seat was adjusted to fit him (he's a very tall guy). But his best friend is also tall so he insisted his best friend was in that seat when he was the last person to sit there.

I've read the suggestions from the last time this happened to us. I know that he's just exploring all these possibilities in his head. And he'll tell you that he never actually accused me of cheating on him. But I'm trying to make him understand how his behaviour is a form of mistreatment. He's mistreating me. Congratulations. You didn't flat out say I cheated on you but you felt the need to measure my car seats and examine me.

After I picked him up from the shelter, he was very adadamant that HE needed to figure out if I really loved him and wanted to be with him even though I kept telling him I did. When I said, fine, let's take a break. He started shaking and crying and almost fell over. I knew he was having a meltdown.

I offered to take him to a mental health urgent clinic that I took myself to after I had several panic attacks (often triggered by how my husband acts when we're faced with stressors). He kept saying that just because he's AS doesn't mean he's an idiot or crazy. I said it's not about that. I think he needs to talk to someone. He refuses to get help.

I've called counsellors but there's a wait time. I'm waiting to hear from someone. In the meantime, I don't know what to do.

He seems to have calmed down. But right now, apparently, we're on a break. He's going to sleep in a different room in the house. He's going to work as usual. Live with us as usual. And apparently he's going to participate in the family more. But now, we're on a break.


Like I said. We've talked and no, we're not "on a break." But obviously, this is something that's happened on more than one occasion over the years. If it keeps happening, I'm worried it's going to break us up. Any advice would really be appreciated.

Actually, I neglected to mention that he went to a friend who's also pretty logical. His friend sat with him and they talked about all the possibilities together. He was able to see that it's possible I could've been cheating but it's also possible I really did what I said I did. And then, it was all better. But the problem is, no matter how hard I try, I can't be the objective person to help him process this information. It hurts when he brings this stuff up.

So, how do we make our marriage work???

Below is something I wrote today. I'm quoting from my blog because I already wrote about it and don't want to write a totally new post. But I really need help. Anyway, the point of this thread is that I want my marriage to work. Obviously, my husband has been feeling overwhelmed and I've been feeling lonely. I think maybe I should start by working on the stimuli in our house. Maybe that would encourage him to spend more time with his family. But, I don't know where to start. The carpet thing, he recommended. He said it's too noisy inside. There's the lights. And he hates all the smells. I don't know what to do. Please help. Thank you.

Quote:
Sometimes, you feel the most alone when there many people around you. Being misunderstood or not taken seriously can do that. I know people mean well. I appreciate their thoughtfulness and caring but, the reality is, most people don't know, understand or even believe in adult or high functioning autism.

I love my husband. He's undiagnosed, however, we suspect he may be an Aspie. I hate labels. He hates labels. I don't like the assumptions people make when they hear that he may be an Aspie. Everybody is different regardless of whether they've been diagnosed or not. Everyone is different so, I hate labels. However, the information out there about AS helps my husband and I. I'm neurotypical and as many of you know, it can be very difficult to have an AS-NT marriage. I'm in this marriage for life so, I use the information that's out there to help understand my husband and help understand our marriage.

Without getting into the details because they are intimate and private, my husband and I had a huge falling out recently. It's important for you guys to understand that I love my husband and I care very deeply for him. HE IS A GOOD, MORAL AND JUST MAN but sometimes, he's in his own world and it's hard to snap him out of it.

(This is so hard to write about because I don't want to embarrass anyone but...)

Sometimes, some AS become so wrapped up in something they neglect other parts of their lives. This can manifest itself by them not eating, bathing, or going for days on end playing a video game, for example. Everybody is different so, what they do when that happens, is different. This kind of happened to my husband and it contributed to the "falling out."

After that, I think my husband had a meltdown. He just needed to process the information in his head. And I realize that because I was upset and wishing he would process it quicker, I actually became one of the stimuli that was overwhelming him (I know those of you in the AS community understand what I mean). So, I finally realized, I had to back off. The most important thing was that he needed to go somewhere quiet and process alone. Or find someone who wasn't worked up (basically, not me) to help him process the information in his head. Because I often feel lonely, this seemed counter-productive at first but it ended up being one of the most productive things we did.

There are people in our lives who mean well, but because it's hard for some people to understand autism, they were handling the situation with preconceived notions. My husband is a veteran. There were some who feared he was having a PTSD attack and that he may hurt me, himself or someone else. (I called some "authorities" for help and I think even they thought this because they didn't understand AS.) I tried to explain to some people that no, that's not what was happening. When you know about how people on the spectrum behave, what's happening makes so much more sense. But when you don't believe someone is on the spectrum, you end up handling someone with fear and anxiety, and that actually contributes to the problem more. Does this make sense?

My husband showed me this amazing YouTube video about "the cone." I feel like it's a great way to explain what happens in the mind of someone who is on the spectrum. I encourage EVERYONE, whether you are AS or NT to watch this. It explains it beautifully.
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MCIiPumEQg&feature=youtu.be[/embed]

It bothers me that people look at my husband they're scared of him. Because he's logical, they think he's going to snap or something. Whether he's AS or NT, it's irrelevant. I wish people would judge a situation based on facts, not on preconceived ideas. My husband cares so much about the world. He feels and understands people more deeply than others do. So much so that sometimes if someone is in emotional or spiritual pain, he feels that pain with them -- LITERALLY. He would give the shirt off his back to someone he felt really needed it. And he has. I've seen him take a homeless man to dinner. Real dinner. Not, just handed him cash and left him there. I've seen him do so much good but the world judges him and treats him like an outcast.

Yeah, we had a fight. Yeah, we have problems. Yes, it's hard being in an AS-NT relationship. But God knows he's a good man. It isn't fair to treat him differently just because he is different. Urgh. There's another label. "Different." I don't know how else to express my thoughts.

Anyway, I love my husband and I want to make this work. Does anyone have any recommendations?

My husband loves going outside. He often sits in the garage and smokes and drinks there. People think that's weird but actually, he's very sensitive to stimuli. You don't have to be AS to enjoy outdoors but the other problem is that our house is full of stimuli and I know it can be overwhelming. When he's outside and I'm inside, then you see the separation there? And often I end up feeling alone, even though he's home.

The second floor in our house is carpeted so the noise is more mute. But the first floor is all tile or hardwood. So, he hears everything from the humming of the refrigerator to the buzzing of the lights. I think I should start by getting some area rugs and changing the light bulbs. I'm not sure what to do with the lighting because I like having light, but I can't make it so it's too bright. I've gotta find a balance.

(Again, is this a weird thing to say? These are practical things that need to be done.)

I don't know what to do about the smells. I know homes have different smells. But that can also be overwhelming.

Please, guys. Do you have any ideas? What else should I change so that our home is a comfortable place for both of us? As weird to some of you as this may be, these logical steps actually help our relationship.
Thank you. <3



Last edited by loco467 on 01 Oct 2015, 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

BecomingMe
Tufted Titmouse
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01 Oct 2015, 11:38 am

loco467 wrote:
I know he loves our kids and he loves me but when he gets home from work, he usually spends time alone in the garage reading, drinking and smoking. He's not a mean drunk or anything; he just can't stand the stimuli in the house and I guess he tries to get away from it by going outside (and drinking and smoking). I hope you guys can understand why doing that really alienates him from his family and makes me feel pretty lonely.


This isn't normal behavior, even for someone who is autistic. I honestly stopped reading here. If you have a problem with his drinking, it's as excessive as it sounds, it makes you lonely, separates him from the children, and yet he continues, that's the first change you can make. Don't excuse this behavior. You don't need to try to change it, but don't accept it as "ok." If you feel especially brave, you can ask him to substitute a productive (for your family or him) task in lieu of drinking away evenings in the garage. You don't have to tell him WHAT to do. Let him decide that. Just let him know that if he needs some isolation/other stimuli, you ENCOURAGE him to get it... just not through drinking in the garage. Or drinking period.



ChemicalVial
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04 Oct 2015, 9:21 am

This isn't normal behaviour for someone with AS and you can see for yourself what it does to your own (mental) health. I understand that you love him, but this is an unsafe situation. The two of you should talk with a counsellor/psychologist (together or sepearately). Right now, this isn't a safe environment for you or your children, and I'm sure that you realise that as well.

Of course, I wasn't there. But please have a look at the cold facts and draw your own conclusion. Is his paranoia going to cure itself? Don't think so. Can you go through with this the way is is now? Probably not. Is this a good environment for your children to grow up in? Not really, right?

Please take care of yourself! :heart:



loco467
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04 Aug 2016, 11:57 am

Over the years, I received a lot of suggestions through a few of the threads I posted and through private messages. Most of them indicated that I was dealing with more than Aspergers and I think you are all right. My husband and I finally saw a doctor and provided a more honest account of our relationship and it turns out, he may have delusional disorder. Now, I don't know if he has delusion disorder AND autism. Or just delusional disorder. Either way, I realize now that this forum would never have been the appropriate place as most of what I shared because, as you guys pointed out, this went beyond autism.

I just wanted to thank all of you for your support. You guys provided me with a lot of insight that was more helpful than you will all over know.

Thank you. <3