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Interesting article on being married to a man with Asperger's


DawnM
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although I think it can relate to anyone with an Aspie in the house.

 

We have ASD in my husband's family.   My 19 year old has been officially diagnosed.  I believe others in DH's family have it, undiagnosed.

 

I am just sharing this info because there are some aspects of it that I can relate to.  I am not bashing or saying my marriage is ending or even close to ending, we are pretty strong, but there are some key points in here that I can relate to.  AND I think some of what I can relate to is because I poured every fiber of my being into my Aspie son, with little reward (in my opinion anyway, others say he has grown tremendously, but some days I really wish I could throw in the towel.)  And I believe my other two children have gotten the short end of the stick often times.

 

Thoughts as you read?  Are you a therapist?  Have you seen this?  Are you married to an Aspie?  Can you relate to any of it?

 

 

 

http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/married-with-undiagnosed-autism-why-women-who-leave-lose-twice-0420164

 

 

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I can relate. At a certain point in my marriage I decided my xh was either on the spectrum (or had a personality disorder of some type) or was just plain a jerk. When xh refused to consider that Asperger's may have been relevant, and when he refused to consider an article similar to the one shared that I thought summarised my feelings, I got a divorce lawyer. There was never a real chance to work it out.

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My DH might be an Aspie, and I didn't really relate to it that much. But I can see how those things can be an issue.

 

DH's problem is that he tries too hard. Like sometimes he's running through the checklists, and other times he's in his own world, but usually he comes back to the "see how awesome of a husband I'm being!" checklist. But I don't always feel it, and sometimes the actions on the checklist aren't appropriate, and then he pouts about how he's trying so hard to do everything right, and he's still a failure, and so on.

 

After one huge blow-out due to rigidity, ToM, and catastrophic thinking I found the book Journal of Best Practices (subtitle of how one guy with Asperger's and OCD saved his marriage, or something like that). It was helpful to see that other people were living the same sort of challenges. I got to see how one Aspie mind worked, and DH got to see how an Aspie husband learned how to be a better spouse. The author uses the word "selfish" to describe his behavior, which is something I tried to avoid with DH - not to characterize him in moral terms. But DH said that he agreed with that description. That sometimes his actions (his own) were just that - selfish. That brings clarity to a lot of his odd behaviors, and it helps frame them off in a way.

 

But DH, while being pretty functional, has issues that make some everyday-life things challenging. So other people notice. My MIL even warned me, "But he's such a weird guy!" Lol. So I don't really feel isolated or misunderstood, so I didn't really relate to that in the article at all.

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Wow this is a powerful article to which I think a lot of women can relate, no matter what issue the husband has.

 

 

I think you are right.  Even though not every thing applied to me and my circumstances, I certainly could resonate with some of it.

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My DH doesn't have Asperger's (he was VP of his college fraternity) but his "love language" is working hard to be a good provider rather than gift giving or emotional support, etc. Not that he is UNsupportive or emotionally abusive in any way. It's just that when I hear women talking about their DH/BF being their "best friend", I can't relate at all to sentiment. If I am looking for sympathy, I turn to a girl friend or a relative for that. If I want rational advice on concrete actions to take to hopefully solve the problem, I will talk to my DH.

 

This is totally un-P.C. of me to say, but I think our modern society places somewhat unrealistic expectations on men to be all "touchy-feely" when for many men, that's not the way their natural temperament is. So the wife who is looking for essentially a wife of her own rather than a husband (but with male anatomy) is often going to find herself disappointed.

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My DH doesn't have Asperger's (he was VP of his college fraternity) but his "love language" is working hard to be a good provider rather than gift giving or emotional support, etc. Not that he is UNsupportive or emotionally abusive in any way. It's just that when I hear women talking about their DH/BF being their "best friend", I can't relate at all to sentiment. If I am looking for sympathy, I turn to a girl friend or a relative for that. If I want rational advice on concrete actions to take to hopefully solve the problem, I will talk to my DH.

 

This is totally un-P.C. of me to say, but I think our modern society places somewhat unrealistic expectations on men to be all "touchy-feely" when for many men, that's not the way their natural temperament is. So the wife who is looking for essentially a wife of her own rather than a husband (but with male anatomy) is often going to find herself disappointed.

Yep. I agree. I think the same about men in the delivery room. I don't think they should be banned and lots of dads want to be there. But the expectation that they should be there and be their wives main support does not work for all dads. They shouldn't feel that they have to be there and fully participating or they are failing though. Edited by busymama7
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This is totally un-P.C. of me to say, but I think our modern society places somewhat unrealistic expectations on men to be all "touchy-feely" when for many men, that's not the way their natural temperament is. So the wife who is looking for essentially a wife of her own rather than a husband (but with male anatomy) is often going to find herself disappointed.

 

Is it a matter of "natural temperament", or is it a matter of being raised to act in a certain way?

 

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Yep. I agree. I think the same about men in the delivery room. I don't think they should be banned and lots of dads want to be there. But the expectation that they should be there and be their wives main support does not work for all dads. They shouldn't feel that they have to be there and fully participating or they are failing though.

DH's delivery room quote when the midwife we got for the SECOND birth brought him some tea then helped me: "This is great! I don't have to pretend I'm a woman." During the first labor he spent a few hours on topology homework. Those kids are 16 and 20 and I still tease him about that.

 

He's not so bad that I'm unhappy or damaged. He's just a bit quirky and antisocial and I've decided it's amusing. Sometimes he pulls off socializing so beautifully that people who don't know him don't get that he probably won't be doing that at another event next weekend . . . or next month. It's completely unpredictable. We've found a happy medium between the zero socializing he prefers and the constant socializing I do :-)

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Is it a matter of "natural temperament", or is it a matter of being raised to act in a certain way?

 

Functionally, does it really matter? ;) They're going to be who they are, and like my mama says, you shouldn't marry someone planning to change 'em.

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Functionally, does it really matter? ;) They're going to be who they are, and like my mama says, you shouldn't marry someone planning to change 'em.

 

My husband's grandmother used to say, "He's a man isn't he?  You're expecting too much!"

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Is it a matter of "natural temperament", or is it a matter of being raised to act in a certain way?

 

I've seen temperamental differences in boys and girls too young to be aware of cultural expectations and whose parents were trying very hard to parent in a "gender neutral" way. So while cultural pressures can definitely exaggerate inborn temperamental differences, it isn't all just environmental.

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Our marriage has some specific differences that come with different ways of having autism, but this is pretty much my life.  You learn as you go what is really happening (i.e. it is not narcissism for example), but the gradual beating down comes sneaking up until you do not recognize yourself. I am working on this. My husband is a very good man --He has autism.

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I'm the autistic one in my marriage. Which means my introverted geeky male NT partner and I are about the same socially. We both struggle to celebrate birthdays and plan family events. We both buy each other chocolate for every occasion, to avoid the hassle of gift giving. (Anniversary, Valentines, Birthdays...) We both do everything to make things special for the kids and very little for ourselves. Works pretty darn well.

 

On the other hand I had an autistic dad and an overachiever mom. I know the dynamic in the article all too well. Except they split up before I was born, but still, same difference.

Edited by Lawyer&Mom
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"she asserts that his behavior has upset her, he may respond that he did not mean to upset her; therefore, she shouldn’t be upset."

 

My son will be 19 this summer, and ^^^ so much yes.  Growing up, he was a willing and sometimes eager participant in learning social cues, appropriate responses, etc.  We worked a lot on theory of mind.  He adapted quite well.  But once hormones moved in and life got more complicated than social niceties, there was a serious brick wall.  

 

Our biggest breakthrough in years happened a few weeks ago when I finally got him to BE QUIET while I expressed my feelings about a situation.  He still didn't particularly care about why I felt the way I did, or have any interest in refraining from actions/behaviors/words that brought me to those feelings, but he eventually accepted that he should "allow" me the opportunity to speak my piece.  He certainly didn't WANT me to be upset, but he definitely doesn't see himself as having a role in that dynamic.

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I've seen temperamental differences in boys and girls too young to be aware of cultural expectations and whose parents were trying very hard to parent in a "gender neutral" way. So while cultural pressures can definitely exaggerate inborn temperamental differences, it isn't all just environmental.

 

Really? Because what I've seen is that girls and boys learn about gender by the time they're two or three, and they learn about it from their peers - not their parents.

 

I've also seen that people will carefully edit what they see so it makes the picture they expect - moaning that their son "wouldn't know what to do" with the toy pots and pans while I look and see that same son playing in the toy kitchen. Saying that my own small girl must be "so girly" while I see that she's crawling on the floor pushing a truck. Claiming that all the boys are just more active than girls (they know, they have a boy) while their boy is sitting looking at leaves and my girls are hanging upside down from the scaffolding. And so on.

 

Do you know, even the most determined gender neutral parent in the world will use a larger, broader vocabulary with an infant dressed in pink? And they'll swing that same infant around more if it's dressed in blue.

 

Babies as small as six weeks old, I mean.

 

So how can you say it's not cultural?

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Functionally, does it really matter? ;) They're going to be who they are, and like my mama says, you shouldn't marry someone planning to change 'em.

 

Well, it does matter. When people perpetuate this nonsense, they push it onto their kids and grandkids.

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Our marriage has some specific differences that come with different ways of having autism, but this is pretty much my life.  You learn as you go what is really happening (i.e. it is not narcissism for example), but the gradual beating down comes sneaking up until you do not recognize yourself. I am working on this. My husband is a very good man --He has autism.

 

My husband has both ASD and narcissism.

 

Two of my sons have ASD -- one milder than the other. They are not narcissistic. That makes a lot of difference.

Edited by RoughCollie
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I find this article frightening. But I don't know what to do about it. I've been struggling like a fish on the hook for decades now. Flopping around emotionally accomplishing nothing. Just last weekend my brother's wife suggested my dh was aspie. Wow.

Edited by Sandragood1
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My DH doesn't have Asperger's (he was VP of his college fraternity) but his "love language" is working hard to be a good provider rather than gift giving or emotional support, etc. Not that he is UNsupportive or emotionally abusive in any way. It's just that when I hear women talking about their DH/BF being their "best friend", I can't relate at all to sentiment. If I am looking for sympathy, I turn to a girl friend or a relative for that. If I want rational advice on concrete actions to take to hopefully solve the problem, I will talk to my DH.

 

This is totally un-P.C. of me to say, but I think our modern society places somewhat unrealistic expectations on men to be all "touchy-feely" when for many men, that's not the way their natural temperament is. So the wife who is looking for essentially a wife of her own rather than a husband (but with male anatomy) is often going to find herself disappointed.

 

You have here conflated being a best friend with being a spouse. Do you believe that men are incapable of being a good friend?

 

It's not about being "touchy feely" (although in my experience, husbands are quite keen to touch and feel their wives), because as many women as men are not the touchy-feely type (because unlike biological sex, gender is a construct), it is about spouses giving one another what they need, as far as they are capable of doing so.

 

My husband is very large and strong and thinks, speaks and acts along traditionally male lines--an there's nothing about that that I don't love iykwim. He still manages not to put me down for needing to express emotion or need every once in a while.

 

Hey if I had my druthers, I'd raise my kids in a community of women and hang out with my husband outside of the daily demands of domesticated life. Alas. No red tent. So, we all do our best.

 

It's outrageous to suggest, as you have done here, that the women in marriages such as the ones described by this article just expect their husbands to be too much like a wife... which you are evidently describing as being a good friend and capable of giving sympathy. I'd suggest however, that you are low on the "sympathy scale" as a great many women are, and therefore can not, yourself, relate.

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I find this article frightening. But I don't know what to do about it. I've been struggling like a fish on the hook for decades now. Flopping around emotionally accomplishing nothing. Just last weekend my brother's wife suggested my dh was aspie. Wow.

 

(((hugs))) and good luck.

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I suspect my dad (now in his 80s) is either close to the spectrum or HFA. His lack of emotional connection had a huge impact on our family life. Of course, I experienced that myself as a daughter, not his wife, but I also got to witness how my mom struggled with her unhappiness over their relationship, while my dad was unwilling to see need to change or accommodate for her feelings. They came very close to divorce but stayed together, because my mom couldn't figure out how she would manage on her own, financially. She went to counseling at times; he refused to go. I don't think that article captures her exact feelings, experiences, or circumstances, but the gist is familiar.

 

She was desperately unhappy and bitter, which also affected our whole family life. And my dad is a very nice man. So I'm sure that some people on the outside would be inclined to think she was the one causing their friction. She did, though, have friends to talk to. I think they were supportive in giving her people to express her feelings with, but that did not help her enough and was probably not the right sort of support.

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You have here conflated being a best friend with being a spouse. Do you believe that men are incapable of being a good friend?

 

Male friendship is very different from female friendship. Male friends spend time doing active stuff like playing sports, watching a sports game, going to a stand-up comedy club, etc. Female friends sit around pouring their hearts out to each other. I was out-of-town last weekend and DH spent the evening with one of his fraternity brothers going to a comedy club. I asked DH how the friend's pregnant wife was doing and apparently the subject never came up. Typical guys :001_rolleyes:

 

It's not about being "touchy feely" (although in my experience, husbands are quite keen to touch and feel their wives), because as many women as men are not the touchy-feely type (because unlike biological sex, gender is a construct), it is about spouses giving one another what they need, as far as they are capable of doing so.

 

You know I'm not talking about physical touch but rather expressing emotions.

 

My husband is very large and strong and thinks, speaks and acts along traditionally male lines--an there's nothing about that that I don't love iykwim. He still manages not to put me down for needing to express emotion or need every once in a while.

 

I never said that my DH puts me down for expressing emotions. He just would rather help me by giving advice on concrete actions to take rather than the kind of "oh, honey, there, there" sympathy that a woman would give.

 

Hey if I had my druthers, I'd raise my kids in a community of women and hang out with my husband outside of the daily demands of domesticated life. Alas. No red tent. So, we all do our best.

 

It's outrageous to suggest, as you have done here, that the women in marriages such as the ones described by this article just expect their husbands to be too much like a wife... which you are evidently describing as being a good friend and capable of giving sympathy. I'd suggest however, that you are low on the "sympathy scale" as a great many women are, and therefore can not, yourself, relate.

 

I have no problem giving or receiving sympathy- I just think it is something that comes FAR more naturally to women than men.

 

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Hey if I had my druthers, I'd raise my kids in a community of women and hang out with my husband outside of the daily demands of domesticated life. Alas. No red tent. So, we all do our best.

 

That's what I did with homeschooling during the elementary years. I'd get all of the work and socializing done during the day then when DH came home we were ready for our calm, quiet bubble. Our school day was busy and social and noisy, but our evenings and weekends were relaxed. We piled on so much daytime socialization that even I, the family social liaison, didn't miss people over the weekend.

 

We didn't avoid birthday parties or whatever, but we pretty much had 2-3 families DH ever cared to interact with outside of family. When our best friends moved, he was content to see them a couple times a year. If it's not me or the kids, he doesn't seem to MISS people ever.

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My DH doesn't have Asperger's (he was VP of his college fraternity) but his "love language" is working hard to be a good provider rather than gift giving or emotional support, etc. Not that he is UNsupportive or emotionally abusive in any way. It's just that when I hear women talking about their DH/BF being their "best friend", I can't relate at all to sentiment. If I am looking for sympathy, I turn to a girl friend or a relative for that. If I want rational advice on concrete actions to take to hopefully solve the problem, I will talk to my DH.

 

This is totally un-P.C. of me to say, but I think our modern society places somewhat unrealistic expectations on men to be all "touchy-feely" when for many men, that's not the way their natural temperament is. So the wife who is looking for essentially a wife of her own rather than a husband (but with male anatomy) is often going to find herself disappointed.

I understand what you mean, and it is actually helpful to me as I adjust my expectations about my 25th wedding anniversary tomorrow.

 

My Dh isn't on the spectrum, but he is the parent who most resembles our child who is.

 

I know he is completely devoted to our family and providing the us with the happiest life imaginable, but he isn't going to discuss the meaning of the universe with me like my girlfriends or my daughters will.

 

Conversely, the thing that my kids miss most about my dad is the fact that nothing was as important as talking for hours about, well...the meaning of the universe.

 

Since they were grandchildren, not his children, this enjoyment wasn't colored by his absolute lack of interest in earning money or providing for his family.

 

I do think it is personality and not gender though. I know men who are the kind of best friend I'm imagining. I've even had men as best friends. One, from my childhood, still calls me when he feels like discussing the meaning of the universe.

 

My point is that I specifically chose Dh because he expresses his love in the constant, practical way that was missing for me and that I wanted for my future children. It isn't fair for me to now find fault with him for being exactly who he has always been.

 

I have a happy marriage, and I've long thought that has been helped by how close I am to my best friend and my adult daughters. But I moved across the country from my support system and it is hitting home that my older daughters will both be away at school in the fall. I don't think Dh is going to suddenly be able to pick up the slack. And he really shouldn't have to.

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My Dh isn't on the spectrum, but he is the parent who most resembles our child who is.

 

 

Isn't it facinating to observe the autism genes across the generations? My grandpa isn't autistic, but if anything he is even more of an emotional black hole than my father who is. I'm also intrigued by the link to the visual-spatial genes. Great-grandpa was a mechanic, grandpa a scientist with a lifelong interest in modern architecture, uncle is an architectural engineer, but only dad is autistic. Like everyone in the family has the ingredients, but not everyone followed the same recipe.

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RE: being best friends with your spouse -- I've used this terminology before, but I personally don't mean we gab about everything and do our hair together; I just mean we can hang out and talk, or do stuff, and we enjoy each other's company, and we always give each other grace for all the crazy idiosyncrasies each of us has.  We rarely criticize, and if we do we retract it.  And we occasionally play slaps like two stupid kids.  :D  I think he's just enough of a softie and I'm just enough of a tomboy that it works out well for us in most things, most of the time.  Makes the disconnects easier to handle, even if they're big.  :)

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My husband does not have Aspergers but boy, can I relate to the whole birthday thing! I feel like every year I have to remind him several times

when my birthday is coming up and give him several ideas for gifts, simply for the hope that he'll do something nice for me that day. Two years ago, 

I received NOTHING from anyone in my family. Boy, that stung! So, yeah, I can relate to that part.

 

Thanks for sharing the article, Dawn. Lots of great insight there!

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Men who are more emotionally perceptive are not thereby turned into women. Some men are more sympathetic/emotive than others.

 

And that goes both ways, but when a woman is not terribly emotionally perceptive, or doesn't particularly like being touchy-feely, or just isn't big on emotional labor (and everybody here should read all the comments!), we don't get any leeway.

 

(And on the subject of men being touchy-feely, in a literal if not figurative sense, I give you this. You can read or ignore the pop psychology as you please. I think the photos speak for themselves.)

Edited by Tanaqui
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I find this article frightening. But I don't know what to do about it. I've been struggling like a fish on the hook for decades now. Flopping around emotionally accomplishing nothing. Just last weekend my brother's wife suggested my dh was aspie. Wow.

 

I referred to it for years as if I felt I were "dying on the vine."

 

I HAVE lost myself.  I am now trying to get it all back and it is HARD.  My husband is *kind of* supportive.  He didn't want me to work for years and was the one who pushed homeschooling.  It was not who I was.  

 

I wish I had found this article when I was still in therapy.  I think my therapist could benefit from reading it, I may send it to her.  

 

I can't go back to her because my insurance no longer covers her and she is way too expensive, but I have considered going back to therapy again.

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Yeah. I can relate to some of this. Especially the birthdays! Mother's Day came and went with nothing. No gift. No special breakfast. Didn't even make the kids tell me happy day. I've come to expect nothing for holidays.

 

I can also relate to the rigidity and excessive need for security. It makes it hard for me to make any improvement in life. And he's destroyed my engineering career already because he selfishly made us move to a place with no prospects, despite my protests, because it's a very safe, low-pressure job for him.

 

I wouldn't say that he's self-absorbed, but he doesn't take any initiative on family activities.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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This is slightly off topic, but does anyone here know of any free online tests to help determine whether an adult is on the spectrum or whatever it's called?  This would be for myself and for my dh and possibly 2 of my ds's.  Thanks.  

 

With two caveats --

 

(1) I'm not an expert, just a mom to an Aspie.

 

(2) Nothing will replace an in person evaluation by a professional(s).

 

See the Autism Spectrum Quotient

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Yeah. I can relate to some of this. Especially the birthdays! Mother's Day came and went with nothing. No gift. No special breakfast. Didn't even make the kids tell me happy day. I've come to expect nothing for holidays.

 

I can also relate to the rigidity and excessive need for security. It makes it hard for me to make any improvement in life. And he's destroyed my engineering career already because he selfishly made us move to a place with no prospects, despite my protests, because it's a very safe, low-pressure job for him.

 

I wouldn't say that he's self-absorbed, but he doesn't take any initiative on family activities.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

I can relate to all that you have said.

 

Yes, I can use my degree, but it is quite limited in what is available for me here.  

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With two caveats --

 

(1) I'm not an expert, just a mom to an Aspie.

 

(2) Nothing will replace an in person evaluation by a professional(s).

 

See the Autism Spectrum Quotient

I'm very confident I'm autistic, but my results on the ASQ leans towards Neurotypical. I think it's one of those things were a postitive result is probably accurate, but a negative result might not be.

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Men who are more emotionally perceptive are not thereby turned into women. Some men are more sympathetic/emotive than others.

 

I agree that no one should have unrealistic expectations of their spouse's personality, but a woman who is attracted to emotionally aware men is not looking for a wife.

This. Expecting my husband to contriubute more to our marriage than a paycheck and to not be a jerk to us, is not emasculating nor is it any kind of indicator that what I really want is a wife. It's utter rot nonsense to suggest it is. I don't even accept this notion that men who admit to having emotions must somehow be a new requirement. It's like people have never read a book written pre-1960. Men have always been able to care for their families in more than a stoic provider sense and no one thought they were womanly for it. Men write poetry, plays, created arts changed diapers and rocked babies...

 

As for the article...

 

Basicly the guy was an ahole and his wife put up with it for decades until the kids were gone and she didn't feel she had to anymore. That's a rather age old tale and I think it is less a caution about aspergers than a general caution to not marry an ahole.

 

Because HER birthday is not about what he thinks or feels. Once she told him it matters to her, it should have mattered to him. It doesn't matter why he doesn't care. He doesn't care is the crux of the problem. He does not get to use aspergers as a reason he just can't be bothered to treat people with kindness or basic consideration anymore.

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I wish she had given a second example because I had a hard time relating to what she was saying at all but my family isn't fussy about one specific day of the year. I should probably try harder to look for the people around me who find it important to be the center of attention when they exited a uterus because it's important to them and everyone has different important things. I do have a list of people that I write into my schedule to acknowledge in some way because it is important to them. I failed for decades at that though.

 

I do see a difference between that and a constant demand for all things to be their way on a daily basis and harsh or uncaring all the time. Some with an ASD can be very demanding and don't try to recognize that others have different things that are important to them. I feel for their families. This is why I wish she had given a second example so I could listen without that feeling that she just is whiny.

 

I'm pretty sure if the ASD husband asked for specific things that she didn't care about or understand he would be called selfish and demanding. Sitting down and explaining that her birthday was like his "insert strange important thing here" and that she would be careful to respect that because she knew it was important to him and she hoped in turn he would respect her strange birthday wishes here then they could both have what they wanted. But she sounded like she just wanted him to have the exact same value, cares, and interests that she herself had. No one has the exact same important to them things.

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I'm very confident I'm autistic, but my results on the ASQ leans towards Neurotypical. I think it's one of those things were a postitive result is probably accurate, but a negative result might not be.

 

I got a 37/50, which apparently indicates significant autistic traits. I don't think I'm autistic, though - I'm just an INTJ.

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Yeah. I can relate to some of this. Especially the birthdays! Mother's Day came and went with nothing. No gift. No special breakfast. Didn't even make the kids tell me happy day. I've come to expect nothing for holidays.

 

I can also relate to the rigidity and excessive need for security. It makes it hard for me to make any improvement in life. And he's destroyed my engineering career already because he selfishly made us move to a place with no prospects, despite my protests, because it's a very safe, low-pressure job for him.

 

I wouldn't say that he's self-absorbed, but he doesn't take any initiative on family activities.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

I'm so sorry. :grouphug:  If your husband is ASD then you need to tell him very bluntly that you did XYZ for him because that is what teams and caring couples do and you need XYZ for yourself. He won't know otherwise and he will never figure it out for himself and it needs to be blunt, like an assignment. I know that may feel like it takes something out of receiving something but I also have to explain to others what I need. My husband wants to please me but he failed the first few years because I didn't specifically tell him. He isn't ASD but it is likely I might be or at least have tendencies for it. Therefore, he was doing everything a stereotypical woman would ask for and I thought it all a waste of time and money and got annoyed at him. I was raised to just say thank you for a gift while being annoyed. But that seems ridiculous in hindsight. Well, depending on the situation. A one time gift from someone not close to you is different than year after year living with the same clueless spouse. 

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Because HER birthday is not about what he thinks or feels. Once she told him it matters to her, it should have mattered to him. It doesn't matter why he doesn't care. .

 

+1

 

Hard to see the assholes comin', though!

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I wish she had given a second example because I had a hard time relating to what she was saying at all but my family isn't fussy about one specific day of the year. I should probably try harder to look for the people around me who find it important to be the center of attention when they exited a uterus because it's important to them and everyone has different important things. I do have a list of people that I write into my schedule to acknowledge in some way because it is important to them. I failed for decades at that though.

 

I do see a difference between that and a constant demand for all things to be their way on a daily basis and harsh or uncaring all the time. Some with an ASD can be very demanding and don't try to recognize that others have different things that are important to them. I feel for their families. This is why I wish she had given a second example so I could listen without that feeling that she just is whiny.

 

I'm pretty sure if the ASD husband asked for specific things that she didn't care about or understand he would be called selfish and demanding. Sitting down and explaining that her birthday was like his "insert strange important thing here" and that she would be careful to respect that because she knew it was important to him and she hoped in turn he would respect her strange birthday wishes here then they could both have what they wanted. But she sounded like she just wanted him to have the exact same value, cares, and interests that she herself had. No one has the exact same important to them things.

 

The bolded seems like a pretty big speculative leap.

 

It's not about the birthday. It's the pattern.

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I wish she had given a second example because I had a hard time relating to what she was saying at all but my family isn't fussy about one specific day of the year. I should probably try harder to look for the people around me who find it important to be the center of attention when they exited a uterus because it's important to them and everyone has different important things. I do have a list of people that I write into my schedule to acknowledge in some way because it is important to them. I failed for decades at that though.

 

I do see a difference between that and a constant demand for all things to be their way on a daily basis and harsh or uncaring all the time. Some with an ASD can be very demanding and don't try to recognize that others have different things that are important to them. I feel for their families. This is why I wish she had given a second example so I could listen without that feeling that she just is whiny.

 

I'm pretty sure if the ASD husband asked for specific things that she didn't care about or understand he would be called selfish and demanding. Sitting down and explaining that her birthday was like his "insert strange important thing here" and that she would be careful to respect that because she knew it was important to him and she hoped in turn he would respect her strange birthday wishes here then they could both have what they wanted. But she sounded like she just wanted him to have the exact same value, cares, and interests that she herself had. No one has the exact same important to them things.

 

She came across as incredibly whiny to me, too. So much so that I couldn't give too much credence to her story. Not that much of it sounded familiar to me anyway. DH probably kisses the spectrum. He definitely fits within the broader autism phenotype. DS18 is diagnosed. Neither would knowingly hurt anyone's feelings. Through cluelessness -- yes. But not through callousness, which is to me how the DH in her story was painted. But it's not called a spectrum for nothing. ;)

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I'm so sorry. :grouphug: If your husband is ASD then you need to tell him very bluntly that you did XYZ for him because that is what teams and caring couples do and you need XYZ for yourself. He won't know otherwise and he will never figure it out for himself and it needs to be blunt, like an assignment. I know that may feel like it takes something out of receiving something but I also have to explain to others what I need. My husband wants to please me but he failed the first few years because I didn't specifically tell him. He isn't ASD but it is likely I might be or at least have tendencies for it. Therefore, he was doing everything a stereotypical woman would ask for and I thought it all a waste of time and money and got annoyed at him. I was raised to just say thank you for a gift while being annoyed. But that seems ridiculous in hindsight. Well, depending on the situation. A one time gift from someone not close to you is different than year after year living with the same clueless spouse.

I have given him assignments many times. "Plan two dates in the next six months." "Get me a present for my birthday and make a cake." "Ask around at work for where chemical engineers work around here." "Play with the kids for 30 minutes after dinner."

 

Nothing that is is uncomfortable doing is going to happen, which is almost everything.

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Yes, it is true it is a big leap. I meant that she could have a birthday celebration as she wanted not everything. If she wants a different kind  of husband entirely than that can only be done through divorce. 

 

To continue the birthday theme,  I have tried very hard to make sure I acknowledge my poor step-mother on her birthday in the past half decade or so and to call my father since I learned it actually mattered to him too which I learned with surprise. I don't get it. It makes no sense to me but I can understand that regardless of how I feel about birthdays it will be important to some people and I choose to respect that. My Mother and siblings though don't pay any attention to birthdays, etc.   I will never be the daughter she probably wished she had though. I would have to become a totally different person. I don't think it is love to say someone has to become a totally different person to make me happy.  We will never go shopping together, get a pedicure, and totally relate to each other. This is not her fault or mine but we can still try to show we care about each other in some things. We can still be interested in attempting to show respect or love to that person if if they tell us what is important to them. 

 

So I will leave this thread since I probably am on the wrong side of the spectrum to participate but I would say please please communicate with them clearly first. They may want to please and be clueless. If they clearly know and choose to be selfish that is different. 

 

 

Edited by frogger
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I have given him assignments many times. "Plan two dates in the next six months." "Get me a present for my birthday and make a cake." "Ask around at work for where chemical engineers work around here." "Play with the kids for 30 minutes after dinner."

 

Nothing that is is uncomfortable doing is going to happen, which is almost everything.

 

 

I am sorry. :(  I don't know your specifics but I hope you can pursue stuff on your own for your own sanity and can find someone to support you like a good friend or something. 

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This. Expecting my husband to contriubute more to our marriage than a paycheck and to not be a jerk to us, is not emasculating nor is it any kind of indicator that what I really want is a wife. It's utter rot nonsense to suggest it is. I don't even accept this notion that men who admit to having emotions must somehow be a new requirement. It's like people have never read a book written pre-1960. Men have always been able to care for their families in more than a stoic provider sense and no one thought they were womanly for it. Men write poetry, plays, created arts changed diapers and rocked babies...

 

As for the article...

 

Basicly the guy was an ahole and his wife put up with it for decades until the kids were gone and she didn't feel she had to anymore. That's a rather age old tale and I think it is less a caution about aspergers than a general caution to not marry an ahole.

 

Because HER birthday is not about what he thinks or feels. Once she told him it matters to her, it should have mattered to him. It doesn't matter why he doesn't care. He doesn't care is the crux of the problem. He does not get to use aspergers as a reason he just can't be bothered to treat people with kindness or basic consideration anymore.

 

:iagree:

 

We have centuries of literature (by men no less) and history that show a range of emotional expressivity in men.  Men can be friends, they can be emotionally aware and supportive... and so much more without being women. 

 

My father, father-in-law, brother, husband, 2/3 of my brothers-in-law, and many other men in my life have been emotionally intelligent and expressive, able to offer sympathy and be friends.   ...and none of them are even vaguely female.

 

...and my husband is quite possibly on the spectrum and my son certainly is and there are things they don't get sometimes (my son much more so), but they are never selfish, never unkind, and always stop and pay attention when someone says something is important to them.... and then they so their best. 

 

Being male isn't the reason for someone being a jerk, or not having emotional skills, or not listening to a partner.

 

...some people don't have certain skill sets, and might never get good at those things, but they can try, and they can improve... and they shouldn't get a pass because of their gender.

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I got a 37/50, which apparently indicates significant autistic traits. I don't think I'm autistic, though - I'm just an INTJ.

If I didn't constantly flick my fingers, become mute when stressed, and wear the same outfit everyday, I'd probably think I was just INTJ too. I don't feel autistic, so much as I just have too many of the symptoms!

 

Actually, I always felt there was "something" different about me, and autism has nicely put a name on that something. A label can really help you make sense of your narrative.

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I have given him assignments many times. "Plan two dates in the next six months." "Get me a present for my birthday and make a cake." "Ask around at work for where chemical engineers work around here." "Play with the kids for 30 minutes after dinner."

 

Nothing that is is uncomfortable doing is going to happen, which is almost everything.

 

 

Is he looking for a new job?

 

I have trouble with DH on this one too.  He will do ok for a month or two and then it goes right back to old habits.

 

He knows I like coffee, so I get coffee for every holiday.....birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day.  It is nice, but to me, that is already on the grocery list.  I have bought my own gifts for years.  This year, for mother's day, I got a new espresso machine!  I love it.

 

And my husband is an accountant, and a penny pincher!  Although, he has loosened up a bit as we have been able to make more money, and this year, I have a job, so it has helped.  He wasn't controlling with money per say, but he likes to know we have a set amount for certain things.  In a lot of ways it is good, and then there are some conflicts.  

 

Sunday was a little bit of a blow up.  We had a blow up about a year ago when I talked to him about some things, spending time together being one of them.  He did well for a few weeks, but then, went back to his old routine.

 

I have realized if we go out, go on vacation, or do things as a family, it is ALL ME.  I am currently planning our West Coast trip.  ALL of it.  I am quite sure if I died tomorrow the kids would never go on a vacation again, other than to see his family, which is NOT a vacation.  

 

But it is what it is.  I should be thankful he is willing to go on a vacation at all.  At least for the most part, he does go with what I plan without too much complaint.  

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