Son swore at me and nt wife told me how it was my fault.

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Mattpb70
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13 May 2019, 9:28 am

Diagnosed with Autsim Specturm Disorder (Aspergers) in 2016 at age 46. My 16 year old son, being evaluated right now, yelled at me "f**k you!" when my wife and I were questioning him about his failing grades. What has me not knowing up from down is that my wife proceeded to lecture me on how I used a wrong tone with him and how I never let anyone finish a sentence and don't care what they say. It really confused me because it seems like she is always blaming me when something like this happens. No support, just a lecture on how it was ultimately my fault. Is she right? I feel like I'm being gaslighted. If I was "normal" I figure I might understand. But I'm baffled. Does this happen to anyone else? How do you react?



jimmy m
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13 May 2019, 9:34 am

Since this is one of your first post - Welcome to Wrong Planet.



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13 May 2019, 10:14 am

Reminds me of a common situation of "mother tries to protect son while son speaks how he wants to father". It's happened in my house, except the opposite; "father tries to protect daughter (me) while daughter speaks how she wants to mother".

So you're not wrong. Your son shouldn't have swore at you no matter what tone you spoke to him in. But sounds like his mother was just sticking up for the son. Mothers can be like that with their sons, just like fathers can be like that with their daughters. Mostly sons yell and swear at their fathers while daughters yell and swear at their mothers.


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13 May 2019, 10:36 am

I’ve experienced similar situations. My dad and my son don’t have a good relationship. My dad and ex set my son off. They’re impatient, use a mean tone with him, and get angry over impulsive behavior that my son who has ADHD can’t always help which makes him behave worse. It’s really frustrating because my dad and ex are absolutely some of the problem. There’s no gaslighting here.

Maybe you should stop and consider whether you could be some of the problem.

Does your kid listen better to his mother than he does to you?

Teenagers want to be talked to in a respectful way. You probably won’t get respect unless you talk to him from a place of respect.

I’m just speaking from my own experience. Your situation may be different. Kids (and adults!) tend to respond better to understanding and kindness than to a harsh, critical stance.

Maybe he is frustrated by his grades and feels even worse about himself when other people are piling on the judgment.



Mattpb70
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13 May 2019, 10:57 am

I agree that I am part of the problem. I guess what is bothering me is that I don't feel backed up by my wife. Things always seem to somehow be the result of how I behave, talk, etc. This event just was the tipping point. Thanks for your answer.



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13 May 2019, 11:05 am

Mattpb70 wrote:
I agree that I am part of the problem. I guess what is bothering me is that I don't feel backed up by my wife. Things always seem to somehow be the result of how I behave, talk, etc. This event just was the tipping point. Thanks for your answer.


If you tell her how you feel and admit that you have been part of the problem, that could really help things!

It sounds like you have a really unhealthy family dynamic going on right now (which isn’t uncommon!), and I think that open and honest communication could help resolve some of that.

It’s tough when these situations escalate and everyone is taking everything everybody else has said out of proportion. Instead, it needs to be clear that you are all on the same team and have each other’s backs. Admitting that you made some mistakes (but had the right intentions at heart) can really help diffuse the situation.

As a mom, my kid is my number one priority and I’m probably going to go into fighting mode if I feel like someone (even someone I dearly love) isn’t approaching him from a kind stance. It’s just how most of us are which is a good thing from an evolutionary standpoint.

Kids look up to parents who can admit that they make mistakes and then apologize for them.



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13 May 2019, 1:12 pm

What Twilightprincess said.

Also, I have two of my own around the same age and from your post, I think you should approach the two issues separately: the dynamic/communication with your son and the one with your wife.

The only rule I could recommend everybody about children in general and teenagers in particular, the one that helped me the most, is never talk to them if you're not calm and know very well beforehand what you want to say and what results/changes you want to achieve. This helps me keep my temper in check and control the direction the discussion takes. If you seem angry, corner them or give the impression you're just lecturing them and not listen to what they have to say, things will escalate and you'll get no results, just more hostility from everybody. Since your son is also on the spectrum (and a teenager to boot), he probably has plenty of problems understanding and expressing his own emotions too.

What I would do if I were in your shoes: first I would have an in-depth talk with your wife. Again, pick a moment when you're both calm, sit down and ask for her insight as to where does she thinks you go about things the wrong way or how does she think you should approach such issues together (if you can't handle such discussions and you're afraid you'll end up fighting, put it in writing and let her read first, you might be surprised how many people here do this with their partners when they feel emotionally overwhelmed). Take it from there, see if you can at least find some middle ground you're both comfortable with. Tell her it's important for you to feel she's not blaming or lecturing you instead of helping you. If you find a strategy you can both agree on, at least you'll feel you're both on the same side and if you try to address whatever communication issues you have (and who here doesn't?), it might not only help with your son, but she'll feel less inclined to have a go at you.

Your OP didn't give much detail, but my first impression was that she thought you're hectoring your son and then she did the same to you :lol: Correct me if I'm wrong, but if that's roughly the situation, it's just not going to do either of you any good.


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Mattpb70
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13 May 2019, 2:46 pm

My OP could have been more clear. It's the first time I've done this, but what is really bothering me is not that my son swore at me. I didn't yell back or punish him but asked him if he felt bad and advised him to remember this the next time he gets angry. He and I are a lot alike. What bothered and perplexed me is that my wife, once again, did not support me but instead listed the reasons why I caused him to lash out. In her NT mind, she is able to trace events to me that make me think like she is blaming me for just about everything. I am able to hide my Asperger's but the problem I have is that I have a hard time knowing what is the "right" thing to do. The gaslighting feeling is that no matter the event, being cursed at by my son to attending events with her and doing or saying something she doesn't like, it is, somehow, all my fault and I am lectured on what I "should" have done. It is constant and I'm beginning to think that it isn't all me. Being undiagnosed until I was 46 gave me a lifetime of thinking I was either a bad person or, as she says, only care about myself. The symptoms that caused this are related to my Aspergers and lack of social understanding. I see a psychiatrist who assures me that it isn't "all my fault." What I was wondering was whether or not other AS people have been in similar situations where the are constantly being told how they behaved wrongly and how did they deal with it? Did you feel like you were losing your mind? What did you do? I thank everyone who has responded to my post.



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13 May 2019, 3:37 pm

Mattpb70 wrote:
My OP could have been more clear. It's the first time I've done this, but what is really bothering me is not that my son swore at me. I didn't yell back or punish him but asked him if he felt bad and advised him to remember this the next time he gets angry. He and I are a lot alike. What bothered and perplexed me is that my wife, once again, did not support me but instead listed the reasons why I caused him to lash out. In her NT mind, she is able to trace events to me that make me think like she is blaming me for just about everything. I am able to hide my Asperger's but the problem I have is that I have a hard time knowing what is the "right" thing to do. The gaslighting feeling is that no matter the event, being cursed at by my son to attending events with her and doing or saying something she doesn't like, it is, somehow, all my fault and I am lectured on what I "should" have done. It is constant and I'm beginning to think that it isn't all me. Being undiagnosed until I was 46 gave me a lifetime of thinking I was either a bad person or, as she says, only care about myself. The symptoms that caused this are related to my Aspergers and lack of social understanding. I see a psychiatrist who assures me that it isn't "all my fault." What I was wondering was whether or not other AS people have been in similar situations where the are constantly being told how they behaved wrongly and how did they deal with it? Did you feel like you were losing your mind? What did you do? I thank everyone who has responded to my post.

This changes things a lot. The significant problem seems to be between you and your wife. As an outsider, I couldn't say, of course, if she's fed up with something or if she's one of those partners who still hopes she could "turn you normal" - unfortunately, this happens to some people who get a diagnosis late in life.

What was her reaction after your diagnosis? Was it more along the lines that it explains so many things or a feeling that now you're beyond repair? I'm sorry, I don't mean to pry, getting diagnosed late can have a strong effect on relationships - either improving them or bringing out to surface all the unresolved issues.

As for the last bit, yes, I have been in such situations, but fortunately not with my wife. Just in my experience, if the person doing it is not also willing to explain things and help you modify the alleged harmful behaviour then they and their intentions are not really honest and they will keep blaming you for everything no matter what you do. What I did when someone was trying to gaslight, manipulate and guilt-trip me for their own benefit was put an end to the relationship, but I'm actually talking here about people who had NPD or similar disorders and were unwilling or incapable to have an honest relationship.

Would your wife be willing to go to counselling with you, if you can find a therapist familiar with AS?


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Last edited by BenderRodriguez on 13 May 2019, 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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13 May 2019, 3:39 pm

A no-win situation.

If he swears at you, it's your fault. If he throws something at you, it's your fault. If he pulls a gun and shoots you, it's your fault. Your wife already has it fixed firmly in her mind that you are the bad guy and that her son can do no wrong.

Wikihow has a few words to say about situations like this.


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Mattpb70
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13 May 2019, 5:20 pm

Bender,
My wife is a special education teacher with 25 years experience in public schools. However, she was constantly annoyed and angry with her schizophrenic (sp?) brother who lived in a group home for ten years until his death last summer from lung cancer. Repeatedly, over the years, I found myself defending him or explaining to her why I thought he was acting in non NT ways. She will defend her students until the the very end, but with family it is different. When I was diagnosed, she told the counselor that she thought I was on the spectrum. This was news to me. Since then, whenever I display the "callous" views of someone with ASD, she lights into me about being heartless and wrong. With my Asperger's I believe her but have begun to question her lately. It seems like she can always explain to me why I am wrong and she is right. I feel like I'm going insane.



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13 May 2019, 5:20 pm

Fnord wrote:
A no-win situation.

If he swears at you, it's your fault. If he throws something at you, it's your fault. If he pulls a gun and shoots you, it's your fault. Your wife already has it fixed firmly in her mind that you are the bad guy and that her son can do no wrong.

Wikihow has a few words to say about situations like this.


Harsh



Mattpb70
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13 May 2019, 5:29 pm

Bender,
She does tell me what I need to do to make things better. The problem, however is that it is always my fault. With my son saying "f you, you fggt" it seemed to cross a line. A line that I didn't think anyone should cross. But there she was again, explaining to me how it was "my fault" because I didn't let him fully explain his failing grades. It just seems like I'm always at fault and I'm beginning to doubt my sanity. Has this happened to anyone else?



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13 May 2019, 5:38 pm

Mattpb70 wrote:
Bender,
My wife is a special education teacher with 25 years experience in public schools. However, she was constantly annoyed and angry with her schizophrenic (sp?) brother who lived in a group home for ten years until his death last summer from lung cancer. Repeatedly, over the years, I found myself defending him or explaining to her why I thought he was acting in non NT ways. She will defend her students until the the very end, but with family it is different. When I was diagnosed, she told the counselor that she thought I was on the spectrum. This was news to me. Since then, whenever I display the "callous" views of someone with ASD, she lights into me about being heartless and wrong. With my Asperger's I believe her but have begun to question her lately. It seems like she can always explain to me why I am wrong and she is right. I feel like I'm going insane.

There seems to be a lot of baggage here - on her side too. I don't feel like speculating since the situation is obviously more complex than it seemed. For your own well-being and sanity, I would encourage you to keep questioning things - being on the spectrum does not mean you're heartless and always wrong.

It's difficult to blame Fnord for his harsh reaction, the problems here seem to run quite deeply. You have my sympathy as I understand very well how you're feeling, and similar situations didn't end well for me. Aside from couples therapy I don't know what to suggest, I'm sorry you're dealing with this.


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Mattpb70
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13 May 2019, 5:42 pm

Thanks Bender. It is relieving to know that others think that I'm not always wrong due to my ASD. That means a lot.