Married to someone with Autism/Aspergers

Clare - posted on 01/01/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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Hi is there anybody else on here married to someone with Aspergers. I am and i find it extremely frustrating, even more so as my son also has learning difficulties aswell. I just wondered how to understand the brain and how it works in adults as i find it so different to my son. I find it even more restricting and inflexible.

Any help or comments would be great help thanks God bless xxx

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Darcy - posted on 02/14/2010

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My son has Autism and I do believe that I may be Asperger's. I am not an expert but I also work with some adults on the spectrum and have done years of research trying to help my son. When times get really difficult behavior-wise I always try to remember that Autism is largely an anxiety disorder and the behaviour stems from fear of change, disorder and the unknown. Often ASD people are constantly in a state of high anxiety and doing everything they can to keep it together. Emotions are almost physically painfull. I know that I have great difficulty talking about how I feel, putting it into words as well as allowing myself to be vulnerable. I often hear people say that people with Autism can't love. My experience has been the opposite. The autistic people I know love very deeply, to the point that it hurts. They are constantly fearful of not being loved or being abandoned and will often push people away so that they control when people leave rather than waiting to be hurt or left. People are the most unpredictable things on earth therefore the scariest things to a Autistic person. My son used to be very violent and in most situations, even when he was upset by someone or something else, he would turn his violence towards me. I could not understand why I was getting all the abuse. The professionals we saw said that this is very common. It isn't safe to attack (verbally or physically) a stranger or someone you don't know well. When you attack the people you know best it is easier to predict the outcome, their reaction. It's less likely that your spouse or parent will leave you but a friend or stranger would. I'm not a romantic or sentiment person. I find it easier to talk about how others look than to look my husband in the eye and give him a compliment. It is VERY uncomfortable. I have had to learn that it is important to others to hear compliments and to have romance in their lives. I still often substitute words for material gifts because it is easier. I do try very hard to teach my son about these things and he has become a very affectionate fellow with us. He may not shower us with compliments or talk of emotions but every so often he will spontaneously tell me how pretty I look or that I have beautiful eyes. I know that when this happens it is more genuine than a compliment that I might get from a typical person. He is not trying to manipulate or stroke my ego, he is just being honest with his thoughts and that is the best compliment! He spontaneously tells me he loves me now. When he does speak of emotions we do have to let him say his piece and let it be. He does not want to be grilled about how he feels and will say thathe doesn't want to talk about it. I know how he feels! I just want to say what I have to say and get it over with. Surprisingly, I can talk openly to my son about how I feel about him without anxiety but still feel anxious when talking to my daughter or husband! As far as where Autism comes from, I don't know. It is more prevalent in males than females (5 times). I have an aunt with autism and family members with anxiety disorders. My husband has a cousin with autism and many family members with ADD/ADHD and learning disabiities. Hard to say what caused it but I do believe it is a combination or both. I wish the best for everyone struggling with family members. I have had days I thought I wasn't going to survive but they have gotten better and now I can look back and laugh at some of them. I have learned more from my son and Autism than from any other experience in my life and wouldn't trade it for the world.
For a good laugh, my husband and I watch sitcom 'The Big Bang Theory'. One of the characters, Sheldon, is sooo Asperger's and they do a good job of showing the humorous side of dealing with him.

AD - posted on 04/06/2014

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I just found this post and am writing a book on being married to someone with Aspergers "How to Tame a Goat and Other Wisdom on Life and Marriage." It is challenging but his heart is in the right place. We have one 10 year old daughter who is brilliant - we've had her tested. She is doing well now but has been bullied. He has three grown children, two ex wives and is what I would consider to be VERY highly functioning until he has an episode.... like last night at whole foods and people don't understand the behavior coming from a 58 year old man.
I am just learning about this - it has taken me a lot of research and learning to understand that he just doesn't have a clue about many things.

AD - posted on 05/09/2014

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@Lisa Dewey. There is a book out by Michael Neill called "The Inside Out Revolution" It helped me. Find friends that build you up and support you. Change your thought process and assess how you are reacting to the comments - I get anxiety and hurt at times. And try to understand that they don't process on the same lines as you do. That has been hard. I have been trying to 'lead by example' - but the hard part for me - are the outbursts and erratic behavior. One day at a time. And take care of yourself FIRST.

Vicky - posted on 10/12/2013

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Darcy you very much helped me on a lot of my questions to why my husband was acting the way he was, thank you, I was crying with relief and upset with what my hubby is going through and relief as because I thought he didn't really like me, I felt bullied and also afraid of being abandoned. Thank you so much for that fantastic post! Love Vicky x

Kirstie - posted on 02/14/2010

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I AM married to a man with Asperger's - and my son has it too! They are not blood -related, but it either all quiet on the western front or clash of the titans - I CANNOT believe what they find SO important - loading the dishwasher - which can of cola to drink next - nightmare - and I've just scored 32 on the Autism Spectrum Quotient!!!!!

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Lisa - posted on 05/09/2014

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May I ask how you handle the episodes of blame; black and white statements that are very insulting; if his work is not going well--it is projected onto me as being a bad wife, responsible for a tanked relationship, etc...? If life around him/us is going well, he will tell me I am the best wife in the world? No difference in me-- just in what's going on around him (his frustrations, feelings of failure, and more). Any insight would be helpful. He has not been diagnosed officially. I know in my gut that he is--as is his pre-teen son. His son has been diagnosed; high on the spectrum.

Thanks in advance!

Ahmed - posted on 04/03/2014

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To Darcy;

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, It is really helpful, but very late for me.
I was married to someone with Autism for 9 years undiagnosed. I Could not figure what was wrong with her, there was lack of empathy, for example One day I had a car accident luckily no physical injury but very shaken and told my wife about it, I just expected her to be sympathetic and show kindness and whether I was OK, but to my astonishment, she did not express a word or show facial expression.
when she hurts my feelings she could not say sorry instead she will do things like cook special dishes or iron my clothes, I used to wonder why she never hugged me or express how she loved me. she never express her emotions or discuss her past, I also used to wonder why she hated parties or meetings or invite family or friends, she also hated if her routine is disturbed or sometimes small things going wrong can make her explode with anger, she could also hear things from a distance, she is unable to make friends easily and I used to beg her to take kids to the park when working but she always preferred to stay indoor.
Unfortunately, we divorced a year ago for the reasons mentioned above. I only found out about the traits of autism from a programme shown last night on BBC Four. I wish i knew better and I could have helped her.

Salmah - posted on 12/13/2013

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I also married with someone with aspagers sindroms. i just very lucky my daugter it normal and very clever and telented .sometimes i felt very frustrated
with husband behavior I cant stand with his talking all the times and I never have enough sleep with them,,actually Before married I never know that my husband have Aspargers Sindroms,until I found up my self

Peggy - posted on 01/25/2013

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Hi . I want o find out if my dh has Aspergers.We have a 10 yo. who has this. No one from my side has it. Is there a way i can find out? And can it trace down to his nephew who is 3. Can he be on the Autism Spectrum?

User - posted on 01/25/2013

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Hi,
It has been about 2 years since you posted on here but I am in a similar position. Are you in the south metro Denver area? If so, I'd love to e-mail and chat about our experiences. My husband also has Aspergers and I'd love to have someone to talk to. Thanks.

Beth - posted on 02/14/2010

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I have a son with aspergers and adhd, its been a long hard ride, he is now 18, but it is like parts of him are 10, 8, 12, 14 and a few parts.18, best way i can explain him, its very frustating. anyway i got remarried 8 years ago and yes i think my husbane has it to, my son and him get on so well and are so the same in so many ways. but you know what from your post and the others, there is hope that yes my son might meet someone and get married, HOPE is all we ask. As for husbanes with it, well i take day by day, it can be very frustating at times, but my husbane is my sole partner and I love him dearly, and that is what keeps you going. look past it and enjoy the man you married. Each and every person with aspergers is differant in so many ways and the same in other ways, im yet to find two alike, all the best

Jacqueline - posted on 02/14/2010

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i am the same as u beth my son is 15 today and has aspergers i often wonder will he cope "in the real world" he still has no stranger danger he likes a routine and doesnt have many friends he has communication problems i do worry what will happen when im gone what will happen 2 him im a single mum and his dad doesnt really understand his condition

Beth - posted on 02/14/2010

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Hello everyone, I have a 22 yr old son with Asbergers, we always knew he was different but he was not diagnosed until he was 17. Very intelligent-high functioning but very stubborn with anger issues. His main issue is he trusts people too easily and therefore has been involved with people he should not, jail time etc. Plus he feels he has to have a girlfriend all of the time because he needs to feel loved by other people other than family and they have all hurt him. I hvae heard the autism coes from the mothers side of the family. I ahve always wondered if he could get married and have a family and keep a job. He doesn't know how to drive, I am afraid he will have too many wrecks. What is the opion on them driving?? I If any one needs to talk I am here as well

Jolene - posted on 02/13/2010

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Ruth-I found what you said about what sides of the family illnesses come from very interesting. My son has autism and so does my husband's brother-very severe . . . our son is a bit more high functioning. My husband and I both have bipolar disorder . . . I have bipolar I and the hubby has bipolar II (angry/depressive). I have always thought that our son will be dx'd w/ bipolar at some point in his life. With it on both sides my little guy can't catch a break. :)

Julie - posted on 02/13/2010

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OH Clare, I do understand how frustrating it is my husband is asperger and bi polar and life can be very hard at times.Same same same I sometimes feel like i have been lost on another planet! I hear what Ruth is saying my life is similar only my children are not autistic. (they have a few querks but thats it) Some days I didnt know how I was ever going to survive. I found a fantastic best friend and she helped me through my stuff and I dont know what I would do without her. She has a son with autism so I help her too. Between the two of us we have saved each others lives I think. You need to find a friend that will accept you for who you are and with all the stuff you will have to deal with. I dont mean to be so down on it but it really is a struggle sometimes. There are times when you just get on with things and it doesnt bother you and there are times when you wonder about your life and why you have to be here in the middle of a living hell. You have to take care of you! You will need to re evaluate things constantly. I hope your husband is not violent if he is you need to get out! It also depends on if you love him or not as to if you want to put the hard work in to help him work on his own communication. I think you need to read as much info on autism as you can get your hands on. You cant be subtle with him, be direct and tell him what he needs to know. I hope you are a strong person because you will have your work cut out for you! Your husband will be less flexible than your son because he is older and set in his ways. If he loves you and you can get him to listen he hopefully will change a little but dont expect miracles!! If you want to talk send me a message and we can go into it a bit more.I have been with my husband for 22yrs and its hard work!

Grainne - posted on 02/12/2010

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Hi my son was diagnosed two months ago, but has shown difficulties in school five years ago. But during a meeting with the psychologist when the diagnosis was given, it became very clear to me, that his father also has some form of autism, esp re communication, and I was always the one who had to make decisions, re everything. I was worn down and out. I was wit his father for 18 yrs since 21 yrs of age and was always waiting for him to pop the question, it never happened.. I thought the prob was with me. If anything went wrong it was always my fault (black and white mentality, no grey area).

We did not have mutual friends to have dinner with, he wud never just take me out, or be spontaneous, we lived a very isolated lonely life together. the longer it went on the more frustrated and lonely I became, I honestly believed there was something wrong wit me.



It came to a head when there wer major bereavements on my side of family. I felt so unsupportive and felt I was going crazy. His behaviour at this time was off the wall. There is so much I could say but I could go on forever, but still I cud say I care for this guy, but we have since separated and the peace i get now is great. Getting myself back to me and learning who I am now is important to me. I started art classes and it is really a lot of fun and I love it.

You need to make time for you even if it is just one evening a week, does not matter wat u do, jus do something tat u like, even if it is to jus take bath an glas of wine an read book or listen to som music...



Do no loose who u r and keep ur interests going as this will save you an make u happier. This is where I really fell down. I lost me. wishin u the v best in what u decide to do.

Mel - posted on 01/10/2010

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can you please tell me what your husband is like??? What makes him tick? Does he have a violent nature or anger management issues? Is he a hard worker? Etc, would be interesting to know.

Tamara - posted on 01/04/2010

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My partner has ASD as well as ADHD and Dyslexia so it's most likely my son has got one of them lol. It's frustrating as anything but he gets help by getting therapy and taking his meds. Just let him know you love him most of all, as he fears you leaving him most of all from what I found of my partner.

Good luck and God bless

[deleted account]

Hello Clare,
I read recently that if your child has Autism, it came from his father's side. If the child has bi-polar, it's from the mother's side. My daughter is 27, and agrees she has Asperger's, my son is 30, and won't admit it, but I know it's there. I spent their growing up years asking "what's wrong with my kids?', and no one had an answer. It (their behavior) didn't fit any of the diagnosis for any mental illness, and autism wasn't even considered because there wasn't any spectrum back then. So, yes, now I would say their dad had it too, but not sure how you explain that my granddaughter I'm raising has it too.

Forgive me if this sounds harsh, but I have to keep repeating it to my son's ex-girlfriend -
your position in their life is to meet their needs. Regardless of what else you have going on, it is secondary to meeting their needs. Outward appearances are all important. My ex, son, and daughter are excellent workers, very outgoing OUTSIDE the home, They are more concerned about what others think of them than what you think.

My suggestion is to find an outside support group - I joined the Alliance for the Mentally Ill. You also need to have a reliable source of feedback, other than them. Someone to tell you when you look nice, or yes, those new drapes really do bring out the color of the sofa. My ex would tell me how nice he thought other women looked. He also made me do most of the decision making, and if it was a right decision, I didn't hear anything, but if it turned out badly, it was all my fault.

I asked my children, since I'm starting over with Kya, what did I do wrong when I raised you. My son said I was too strict. My daughter laughed and said I was not, they got to do most of what they wanted. I went to my granddaughter's doctor that specializes in Autism, and other brain disorders, for a session of my own. I had had a personality assessment done, and it told me I feel things more than most. When I mentioned it to her, the response was, "What you're telling me is, you love too much, in a family that is incapable of loving." I almost cried because that's what I had felt all those years, but wouldn't admit to myself because then that would mean I had chosen to stay unloved.

I don't mean to sound all discouraging. There were good times, too. It's just that for so much of that time, I felt like I was juggling 5 balls and always in danger of dropping one.
so, I'm here if you have any questions. I stayed in my marriage 25 years, until my kids were grown. Funny thing is, my son resents me for not leaving sooner. He has had several relationships with unsuitable women, and my daughter is on her 3rd, and we hope last, marriage. I think I deserve a Ph.D., but I don't think I could handle that many balls.
Here if you need me,
Ruth

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