Just found out my husband has Asperger's Syndrome.

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sammyrose
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16 May 2010, 9:19 pm

Hi,
my name is Samantha my fiance and step son are both diagnosed with AS. And I have to admit I feel like I am drowning and in over my head. I try to talk to him about house work, we recently moved and he has NOT unpacked a single box ( I have done it all) I think I have gotten his help cleaning once maybe twice. Anytime I try to talk to him about this stuff he just blows up and somehow I am made to feel like the jerk. My fiance is very smart and can be so so sweet and loving but that is becoming a rarity as well. I love my family very much and don't want to lose them but the inability for me to be able to express how I am feeling without resulting in a major melt down is getting to me. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to broach these subjects with him without pissing him off? Please help. Thank you so much for reading.
Sam :)



ookamika
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17 May 2010, 3:29 pm

Jaxtapose wrote:
Hello,

I'm new to this and I am confused. I just found out yesterday that my husband might have Asperger's Syndrome. That would explain ALOT! We have been married for 3 years and we have a young daughter together. He has always seemed like a jerk who doesn't care. He has been verbally abusive at times and me too.

When I was in the hospital giving birth to our daughter he seemed annoyed and he kept saying that he was tired and wanted to sleep! I had no help from him and I felt so alone. This was just the start. He seems only interested in his computer and programming.

After a few years of his seeming neglect I started an online relationship with another man. My husband didn't like this but didn't really seem too upset. My Father said that maybe he doesn't love me. I felt so bad. We tried marriage counseling a few times but as soon as we left he would yell at me for some problems "I had".

Then last night he dropped a bomb, "I think I have Asperger's." Wow, what a relief in a way to know that he doesn't necessarily hate me but maybe it is just stemming from his condition??? I cannot do enough research on this topic as I want to know more so that I can understand him and help him in any way possible.

I told him that I was so happy that he shared this with me. I also told him that I support him 210%. I just want to start again with him so that maybe we can grow old together. :wink:


wow. Well, there's a lot that could be wrong here.

He could be sociopathic (1 in about 100 people are, and no -- it doesn't mean they're serial killers)
He could have a pornography addiction, or other sort of affair that is affecting him in this way, would also explain his reluctance to be bothered by your online affair.
He may be Schizoid.

Anyway -- that's my 2cents.


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"Not everything obeys logic. -- Something that is learned the hard way, if at all."


givetoomuch
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15 Jun 2010, 8:43 am

I've only just come to the conclusion my husband must have Asperger's. Only five years ago I discovered that I'm gifted. Now I'm beginning to realise why I picked my husband. He was so like me: quiet, sensible, intelligent...(trademarks of gifted people and people with Asperger's). I never realised that the shyness I saw in him might just be lack of interest in emotional and physical contact.

We've been together for just over 15 years. The (verbal) abuse started only just after we got together. We actually had the abuse licked more or less five years ago: he couldn't call me stupid if I had a piece of paper that proved my IQ to be 139....., but his need for order and definition in our relationship had made it impossible for me to grow without having to guide him through the changes. And I am growing: I have a small business, I'm making more friends than ever, my steady teaching job is very fulfilling. And every step of the way I have to talk him through it. Or at least try to.

The abuse has started again. Don't worry, it's not physical, probably only because I'm much stronger than he is. But it's not good for my self-esteem. I always freeze up when he's near me and try to avoid aggrevating him. That's no way to share a household, believe me. My sons are also picking up on the idea that Mom is someone you can call a Moron and get way with it....... I'm none too happy about that.

Someone help. Not with a book. I've read them all. Over and over. Just with some advice. Please



Marcia
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18 Jun 2010, 6:22 pm

givetoomuch wrote:
I've only just come to the conclusion my husband must have Asperger's. Only five years ago I discovered that I'm gifted. Now I'm beginning to realise why I picked my husband. He was so like me: quiet, sensible, intelligent...(trademarks of gifted people and people with Asperger's). I never realised that the shyness I saw in him might just be lack of interest in emotional and physical contact.

We've been together for just over 15 years. The (verbal) abuse started only just after we got together. We actually had the abuse licked more or less five years ago: he couldn't call me stupid if I had a piece of paper that proved my IQ to be 139....., but his need for order and definition in our relationship had made it impossible for me to grow without having to guide him through the changes. And I am growing: I have a small business, I'm making more friends than ever, my steady teaching job is very fulfilling. And every step of the way I have to talk him through it. Or at least try to.

The abuse has started again. Don't worry, it's not physical, probably only because I'm much stronger than he is. But it's not good for my self-esteem. I always freeze up when he's near me and try to avoid aggrevating him. That's no way to share a household, believe me. My sons are also picking up on the idea that Mom is someone you can call a Moron and get way with it....... I'm none too happy about that.

Someone help. Not with a book. I've read them all. Over and over. Just with some advice. Please


My advice is that you should leave him. I think you probably already know this.

My husband was verbally abusive to me and we separated three years ago. Like you, I was worried that my son would think it was normal and acceptable for a husband to insult and belittle his wife. On two occasions my husband verbally vented his anger on our son, who was only 5 years old at the time. I should have only let it happen once, and ideally I should have left before it happened the first time.

The effects of verbal abuse can actually be more profound and longer-lasting than physical abuse. Don't think that because he's not hitting you that it's less serious in some way. If you are freezing up when he's around and managing your own behaviour and words in an attempt to avoid being abused then you will eventually crack. Living with that level of stress all the time is very bad for your physical and mental health. That's not a marriage - it's more like an endurance trial.

I have been seeing a counsellor once a week for about 2 years now, and it's probably only now - three years after leaving my husband that I feel that I am just about recovered from the abuse I took, and kept on taking.

It may not be too late for counselling, but if it is at all possible, then I would recommend that you do that while living separately. Try to get counselling individually and as a couple. Some churches and charities offer counselling services on a donation or ability-to-pay basis.

I wish you all the best and if you want to talk to me privately then feel free to send me a private message here.



wIzd0m
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18 Sep 2010, 3:06 pm

Jaxtapose wrote:
Hello,

I'm new to this and I am confused. I just found out yesterday that my husband might have Asperger's Syndrome. That would explain ALOT! We have been married for 3 years and we have a young daughter together. He has always seemed like a jerk who doesn't care. He has been verbally abusive at times and me too.

When I was in the hospital giving birth to our daughter he seemed annoyed and he kept saying that he was tired and wanted to sleep! I had no help from him and I felt so alone. This was just the start. He seems only interested in his computer and programming.

After a few years of his seeming neglect I started an online relationship with another man. My husband didn't like this but didn't really seem too upset. My Father said that maybe he doesn't love me. I felt so bad. We tried marriage counseling a few times but as soon as we left he would yell at me for some problems "I had".

Then last night he dropped a bomb, "I think I have Asperger's." Wow, what a relief in a way to know that he doesn't necessarily hate me but maybe it is just stemming from his condition??? I cannot do enough research on this topic as I want to know more so that I can understand him and help him in any way possible.

I told him that I was so happy that he shared this with me. I also told him that I support him 210%. I just want to start again with him so that maybe we can grow old together. :wink:



hello, I am a father of 4 children, 2 of which are on the spectrum. 1 is more severe then the other. I too also have simular traits to your husband, and my spouse is going through many of the same issues as you are. After reading more and more, and dealing with my own kids who have it, we are in the process of getting myself assesed. I can not speak for others who have AS as from dealing with so many people with it i have learnt that it is such a broad sprectrum and there is so many differnces in each person. But form reading and teaching myself about it, i know after 35 years KNOW i have some form of it. I am in the process of seperating with my spouse of 10 years as i feel she has enough to deal with that she should not be burdened with me. I have read alot about it and have noticed alot of things we self teach. but there is so much that i got by in life never teaching myself, and thinking i understood, when really i had no clue. I would spend 18 hrs on a pc and it would feel liek 20 mins. Last night i played a game, kids went to bed with out me saying good night to them, the wife said good night, asked for a kiss and they all got nothing. After which i ( 3 hours later) wondered where everyone went?

I suffer from lack of feelings and emotions, yes i cry, but i cry when 2 people fall in love in a movie. When someone dies, i dont know how to react and ussually either leave or just freeze. My wife has put up with mental and emotional abuse. this was not by choice. I love this woman. We had a discussion about feelings, and i do not understand why i have no bond with my own children. Why i have no concept of jobs or money? I could quit a job tommorow and think everything will still be fine. I guess what i am rambling on is that i lack the "life skills" and the way to precive feelings in manors that most NT;s can do with out even thinking about it.

My biggest thing I am looking for now, is how do i learn "life issues" and how to reorganize these so called feelings of when to be sad,hurt,mad. But, from what i have seen from my own children, and even what goes on in my own head is that we have a gift most NT's will never know or get to experience unless we figure out a way to explain it all.



KatesNewIssues
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17 Mar 2011, 10:54 am

Hi,

I am so happy to find some people with similar circumstances to bond with. I just found out that my 6 year old son has Asperger's, and so does my husband. It explains a lot about some of the reactions and "care" that he has shown, but for some reason it really upset me to hear about it. I honestly felt mad. I don't understand it, but that's just how it is. I went through post-pardum after our second child was born, and he showed such a lack of support that it was actually cruel. He's a wonderful person, but he is one of the least sensitive people I have ever known. Although he will tear up when an F-16 flies by.... ; ) I'm of course also having a hard time swallowing it for my son, but I guess that will take time. I don't really have anything constructive to say, I'm just looking forward to some support from a similar group of people. The information you are contributing here is priceless. Thank you.



KBerg
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18 Mar 2011, 9:08 pm

As someone with AS I'd just like to say that while some of it can be, not acceptable of course never that, but perhaps in retrospect you can see how someone might go to those very wrong actions from the AS issues.. once you have the AS diagnosis, once you know, if you keep doing those things, being verbally, physically or emotionally abusive... that's willful. Once you know, either you try to fix the issues that have probably made your life very difficult, or you are very willfully and intentionally choosing that abusive behavior. It's no longer a case of not knowing or understanding or dismissing things because you don't know what to do or how to act and having no explanation beyond 'other people are just so emotional'. You now have an explanation, you now know there's something different about you, what it is, and have access to information on how to deal with those conflicts that arise from that difference.

Having the diagnosis doesn't give carte blanche to continue under the flag of "I can't help calling you stupid, I have AS", and I think that's an important thing to point out and perhaps is good for those of you here who are NT get from someone with AS. A lot of the time, and I'm not attacking people with AS here, I see people accuse the NTs of being insensitive to AS because we can't help acting certain ways, but allowances for AS only go so far. As has been mentioned earlier, a lot of women in general (AS and NT) tend to take on blame that isn't theirs, I suspect a lot of you have taken on more than your share of blame over the years which is unfortunate and I certainly wouldn't want the diagnosis of your spouses to enable more of that.

I'm not saying the AS doesn't deserve some considerations to be made, but in a sense I think having a diagnosis of it means that you are if anything more responsible for your actions. Because you now have the cipher to decode and start to understand why you do what you do and how that affects people around you. If you have that cipher and don't care to use it because you don't care how the people around you feel, well, that's the trait of a jerk (or sociopath) and unfortunately they don't seem to have effective treatment for that.



Inlove
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30 May 2011, 1:39 pm

Boston_MA wrote:
enjoy him for who he is, and try to engage him, teach him, encourage him, be assertive and not let him yell at you. change yourself, and let him change himself. don't try to change him. treat him with respect. try to help him learn. and make him feel like he is achieving something, not correcting mistakes. honestly, just reading how you talk about this guy, i would hate to hear all those accusations.

it's better when people lower their expectations and treat each other in a laid back manner
and not get too focused on things that drive them crazy
both have to be eager team players
a family is a team
The Family Crucible from the 1970s explains this very well

don't say "i feel alone" "say i want to talk to you, you make me feel happy and less lonely when we talk"


HI! I have to admit that in relationships with my husband I used to "use " all the wrong words, I did used to say "I feel lonely" , and couldn't find the right ones... I am learning now and trying to change, it is so not easy ....



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07 Jun 2011, 3:36 pm

Sounds a lot like my father.



Incendax
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06 Aug 2011, 5:13 am

I am a diagnosed AS and I am recently divorced from my NT wife. Perhaps my story will be of some use to someone.

When I started dating my wife I made her my focused obsession and became her white knight. I was quick to assist her with any educational or logistical trouble she encountered and self-sacrificed to a degree my friends felt was remarkable. I intentionally pursued her because I wanted her but I was not entirely certain what I was going to do once I got her; I had no interested in sex but still felt jealous enough to be territorial.

She revealed to me that she had been emotionally abused as a child, and my ability to endure her troubles and my general good nature won her over and we dated for several years. As time went on she ceased to be my focused obsession and I began to obsess about other hobbies. Naturally she began to feel neglected by this and I discovered that she also had a remarkable knack for dishing out emotional abuse when she was unhappy, often going above and beyond a necessary reprimand.

Our differences began to develop in ways that caused friction greater than simply AS. I was happy to help my wife with any number of tasks provided that she restricted them to a single segment of the day (It did not matter when, simply that all the tasks were back to back). I tried to clearly explain this to her but she would frequently interrupt me to ask questions, or make comments. I began to keep track, and a slow day would only have 4 interruptions per hour and an outlier had as many as 21.

I get into a mode and focus on a single thing to the exclusion of everything else. I cannot even understand what other people are saying when I am focusing (but I am aware words are being said). If I stop to focus on the new stimulus (such as my wife asking a question) I lose progress on my previous focus and have to backtrack to a certain degree. For this reason I was never able to engage in casual banter while doing anything else. I couldn't multitask.

Unfortunately this annoyed my wife to no end and she would make biting comments. At first I tried to be the better man and ignore them entirely in favor of more productive responses. As time went on my patience grew thin, and I tried other things. At first I tried to simply take a brief nap (this only made things worse). Then I would try things such as debating with her, or probing her thoughts, or just quietly listening and making affirmative noises. None of these succeeded in making an improvement in her behavior, so I succumbed to returning biting remarks because it was more cathartic.

Of course this was the wrong thing to do, and I know it, but it was the easy thing to do and I was constantly exhausted and out of energy from trying to deal with her feelings of emotional and sexual neglect. I began to create a quota in my head of how many times per week I would respond positively to her. We even invented "My Days" and "Her Days" to split my obsession/hobby time with quality time. This actually did not work out well because it made me bitter since "Her Days" rarely involved anything I was interested in. I felt like my time was a sacrifice necessary to keep her happy.

Of course, the classic AS issues always rose up. I never understood why she would get angry at the things I said, and tried on several occasions to come to a compromise. I tried to convince her that when I said something offensive or unnecessarily truthful it was not my intent to cause harm. I would ask her to consider it a misunderstanding first, before thinking it was something intentionally negative. I think that she honestly tried to compromise and meet me half way, but that is only an intellectual conceit because it never felt like it was anyone but me trying to make changes to my behavior.

In the beginning I would do romantic things because I knew they were positively reviewed by my female friends. As time went on my efforts were disrupted because I would say or do something wrong that might constitute 10% of the entire romantic effort but apparently negated the entire event. After many repeated failures I began to stop doing romantic things because the chance of success was too low to justify the expense of time. This only strengthened the spiral of destruction.

Eventually we got married for the wrong reasons. I was perfectly content without a marriage because I could not understand why we needed an expensive ceremony when nothing would change afterwards save a tax break and visiting rights in hospitals. She wanted the ceremony. After being married for 3 years she agreed that ultimately being married changed nothing. I only went ahead with it because I thought it would be meaningful to her. It turns out that she only went ahead with it because all her friends were getting married before her. She settled because she didn't want to be alone. I was reliable if distant.

Unfortunately this spiral grew and grew until we were both saying hurting things with every intention of causing harm. The relationship needed to end. We attempted one last ditch effort to save the marriage and took up roleplaying as a hobby. I HIGHLY advocate roleplaying since it allows people with AS to practice social skills and learn cause and effect relations without the fear of social failure. Unfortunately I became obsessed with the mechanical side of the hobby and once again neglected her to the point that I discovered she was having an emotional affair with someone, and even exchanged "I Love Yous", but not bodily fluid. When I discovered that I went into a panic and spent two weeks on my very best and self-sacrificing behavior to see if she would stop the relationship but she was unaware that I had made any notable effort at all.

So I asked her for a divorce.

Perhaps this account is disjointed and unorganized. It has hard to summarize six years of a relationship with all it's mutual faults and I know I have left out countless other details. Feel free to ask if you have any questions about these experiences. If any of them can help someone else avoid the same turmoil then I will gladly share that information.



lemjem
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07 Aug 2011, 3:21 pm

It has been very interesting reading all these experiences with dealing with a partner with Aspergers. I see so many simularities with how my relationship has been going.

I have been married to my husband for almost 2 years. It has been a very rough road. I feel like everything is on me and not only does my husband not contribute to the functioning of our household I feel he does not even function independently as a human being. I have been seeing a counselor for my own depression who recommended family sessions because relationship stress is a huge factor in causing my depression. My counselor is great. A few weeks ago he suggested that my husband has AS and showed me some information about it. He was concerned how the news would impact me, assuming I would be devistated. On the contrary, I was so relieved! It explained EVERYTHING!! Social awkwardness, obsessing about his abusive childhood, not being emotionally supportive, the list goes on and on.

I was surprised his own counselor did not pick up on this, she said she felt he had Borderline Personality Disorder. I saw some symptoms that fit but not alot, AS describes him much better. We are working on getting an official diagnosis.

Over this past couple years I have had to learn to be very direct with my husband and tell him exactly what to do and when to do it. I felt really bad about it and felt like I was being bossy. I personally HATE being told what to do and do not respond well to it. It has helped me to learn about AS and that he thinks differently than me and is not perticularly bothered when I tell him what to do. In fact he needs me to since he will never notice on his own. Over the past few weeks I have gotten over my guilt and just dealt with the fact that this is just how it is. Of course I have to tell him nicely and not be mean even when i am frusterated with him. My husband is a great person. He could always tell he was different and has been very open to changing.

Finding out about AS has saved our marriage! I was at the end of my rope. Now I have hope and reasons. I know it is a lifelong condition but finding out why he does what he does and acts like he does gives me something to work with. He is not just a big selfish uncaring jerk!

Oh... and unfortunately his obsession is FOOTBALL! Ugh. I am so tired of hearing about the Raiders. I wish he was obsessed with something usefull that could make money or something. I do try to have fun with it. When he is going on and on about the Raiders I comment like "wow, I could not care less." And he keeps going on more and i say " wow, I was wrong because now I do care even less." It has actually kinda been helpful because he has learned to listen to me during his long winded discussions and it keeps him on his toes. He will realize eventually what i am saying and actually start laughing.