Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Asperger's Syndrome Wives Need Understanding

Those who stay in a relationship with an Asperger’s-afflicted mate should do everything possible to be independent socially and financially.


Asperger's Syndrome Wives Need Understanding
Karin Friedemann Salem-News.com


(BOSTON, Mass.) - Asperger's Syndrome is a neurological disorder considered as high-functioning autism. Individuals with this syndrome have difficulty with social aspects of intelligence. This manifests itself as a notable lack of "common sense."

The presence of Asperger in children is getting more attention now, but the undiagnosed adult is not yet well recognized. Because these types of brain disorders seem to be more common in men, many times wives have trouble getting the support they need.

The shortcomings of adults with Asperger’s Syndrome have been camouflaged beneath layers of coping strategies and defense mechanisms. Their behavior often gives the impression of someone perhaps a little eccentric or odd - but passable because of their high IQ or gift in an area or career, such as engineering.

Life with an AS spouse is very isolating. Since the AS person in public often appears normal, others do not understand the spouse's suffering. Spouses of people with Asperger Syndrome play an abnormally large caregiver role. Even when AS people are successful professionals, their families cannot rely on them to participate fully in family life since they typically don't do their share of chores or provide emotional support to other family members.

Although people with Asperger’s Syndrome do feel affection towards others, relationships are not a priority for them in the same way that it is for people who do not have Asperger’s Syndrome. People with Asperger’s Syndrome generally seem to be more focused on a particular interest, project or task than on the people around them.

Because the person with Asperger’s Syndrome does not have the same relational needs as the non-Asperger partner, he or she is mostly unable to recognize instinctively or to meet the emotional needs of his or her partner. Marriages can thus form seriously dysfunctional relationship patterns.

The denial, the complex and multi-layered coping mechanisms and defensive strategies make it difficult to live successfully in a relationship with someone who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Often the afflicted will deny there is a problem, since one of the disorder's main characteristics is the lack of ability to imagine someone else's point of view.

People who do not have Asperger’s Syndrome enter a marriage with the normal expectation that the priority of a marriage relationship will be about togetherness, mutual terms and meeting of needs, but in reality the relationship ends up being more one of practicality and convenience for the person with Asperger’s Syndrome than for the loving and meeting of emotional needs of the marital partner.

In many cases, the Asperger partner analyzed the partner prior to marriage and assessed them as being capable of filling a compensatory role for his own deficits. The non-Asperger partner then unwittingly fills the role of personal assistant. In the privacy of their relationship, the spouse who does not have Asperger’s Syndrome will more than likely be physically and emotionally drained, working overtime to keep life on track for both of them. Perhaps the relationship has taken on more of the characteristics of a business partnership or arrangement.

For those who had normal expectations of the mutuality of marriage, there will be a sense of betrayal and a feeling of being used and trapped. Instinctively they know that their partner needs them, but feelings develop that the relationship is about the needs and interests of the person with Asperger’s Syndrome and that there is not even room for their own voice.

Many partners feel that they are daily sacrificing their own sense of self to help fulfill the priorities of the partner who has Asperger’s Syndrome. They begin to feel that they are entirely defined by the role they fill for their Asperger partner. There’s a sense that there is no mutuality, no equality, no justice.

People married to someone with Asperger’s Syndrome continue to hope for the mutual meeting of emotional needs within the marriage and resent the reality of living on terms dictated by the needs and priorities of the partner with Asperger’s Syndrome. In effect, their flexibility is exploited by the inflexibility of the person with Asperger’s Syndrome. This prompts an extremely manipulative behavior pattern, with the neurologically typical spouse going overboard to prevent stress. Living with someone who sees only his or her own viewpoint cannot help but damage a spouse's self-esteem.

The neurotypical spouse must thoroughly evaluate all the issues before deciding if there is enough of value to make continuing the relationship worthwhile. Those who stay in a relationship with an Asperger’s-afflicted mate should do everything possible to be independent socially and financially. In most cases, the afflicted spouse will not be able to make substantial changes, so the neurotypical spouse must be able to accept that. Knowing what to expect will make the marriage more predictable and manageable, if not easier.

121 comments:

Anonymous said...

The neurotypical spouse must thoroughly evaluate all the issues before deciding if there is enough of value to make continuing the relationship worthwhile.

I disagree. It sounds like a comment from a non feeling individual.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh....I have been divorced for a few years from my spouse, but, I do believe that he has Asperger's. Now so much of his personality and so much of what we went through in our marriage makes sense, like pieces of a puzzle coming together. Thank you for posting your article!

Man From Atlan said...

Wise words!

Mira said...

I agree that living with an Asperger's person is not easy, but the marriage can be manageable and happy if the two talk about the challenges and work through them. It is only natural for a person with any difficulty to choose someone who complements them to be their partner. Reading this article gave me a very negative feeling about people with Asperger's Syndrome ; but this is not accurate.
Beneath all that "oddness" lies a very vulnerable person who is easily overwhelmed and overloaded. The "selfishness" is just a means of coping with that. The partner can be happy as long as he/she lower their expectations and look at the other half of the cup.

Michelle said...

My husband DOES have aspergers(and ADHD), as did his father and uncle. It is stressful and I am exhausted. The groups I've tried to join basically say the same thing:

Be positive,accept him, it's not his fault. I'm not a good wife for not "enduring".

I understand that. I really do-but I am losing it. Fast. It's been 15 years and I am EXHAUSTED.

Anonymous said...

This article is so welcome. For many years I had no idea what the reason was for the strange, nearly undefinable problems we had in our marriage. Now I realise that there must be many many exhausted, isolated, deeply sad women out there trying to cope with a very difficult situation alone, because so few understand. My husband is a beautiful, gentle, intelligent individual but this does not prevent my suffering. Denying one's self and sacrificing all basic emotional needs every single day, giving up the most important personal desires bit by bit as the years go by is so damaging. I wish support was better organised for partners of Aspergers. Many of us live in a trap, denying ourselves more and more as times goes by but finding it unacceptable to abandon a good and in a way helpless person who is the way he is out of no fault of his own. It is enough to make one crazy and there is no help around. Thank you for your article. This is a first step.

Anonymous said...

One is left with the impression that the author is 'burned' out - his or herself - living with an Asperger's afflicted individual. I don't know if that's actually the case, but it certainly reads as such. One can imagine that it be difficult to live with such a person - but this article shows little concern for the afflicted individual. Or for those who would like to make a relationship with an Asperger's individual work in the long term

stevieb

Anonymous said...

I dated someone who had Aspergers syndrome and it led to me having a breakdown and suffering from severe depression. He denies to this day that he has done anything wrong and the problem is that the people around him have simply enabled his behvaiour. He is a high achieving professional but lacked the capacity to understanding that his actions and words were deeply damaging. If someone told me they had Aspergers now. I would run in the opposite direction.

Anonymous said...

I am dating someone with AS. I really care for him as a person and want to take things further. Any advice on how to proceed? Do I need to be the one to initiate things? Do I need to be more revealing in my feelings?
~Maybe in love...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a view! As one commented above, it sounded a bit negative, but I fully agree that it's wise to be financially independent and have and independent social life (but that is always true regardless if the other person have AS or not and has nothing to do with that really ...)

Anonymous said...

Clearly you should not COPY someone else article in writing your own. You lack serious creditability as a writer in doing so. There are many examples of you using direct sentences from her copyrighted article.

Anonymous said...

Being married to someone with AS is so lonely. I feel that all my time is spent on how I can make things better for my husband to cope with life. Yet I am the one that has to handle everything and there is never someone there to help me. I agree about being fin/soc ind. For a long time I pushed aside my friends when it came to social outings since my husband always seemed so ackward at these events. I have started going to things by myself which may sound rude but at least I feel alive!!!! To have another adult to talk to is worth more than anything.

Squiggly Rainbow said...

Hello Karin

Wow, interesting reading and I can relate on so many levels. My challenge is for myself staying positive and kind. Does anyone know of any support groups in Australia specifically for wives (Cassandra Affective Deprivation Disorder).

Karin Friedemann said...

I recommend the support group "Aspergers and Other Half" which you can find at yahoogroups.com and there are many members on it that live in Australia.

Anonymous said...

What if you're married to a Nazi? Any support group for that?

Anonymous said...

I am separated from my husband/Partner of almost 15 years. I noticed quirky/bizarre behavior from the start of our relationship, but never gave AS a second thought until now. We went to marriage counceling, the therapist suggested I get a book regarding AS, OMG! Now I know why I've felt insecure for most of my marriage..I always initiated any intimacy. He's told me less than 10 times in 15 years that he loves me. We have 2 children, otherwise I would have left sooner. Now that I have moved out, I find myself reading more about AS. Part of me feels sorry for my husband, the other half feels relieved..I'm so exhausted, mentally and pysically. I also noticed that everytime I made a comment, his response had nothing to do with what I had just said...He has no emotions and it's frightening?? I would like to join a support group as well...Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Eight years of going through hell and back,you either sink or swim. Delphi forms AS Partners is a wonderfully supportive group of pro active women it is worth checking out. Good luck to you all.

Anonymous said...

Me NT, him Aspie. We met 2 years ago. Good friends for 1.5 years.Roommates while platonic but it was getting intense. He moved out. Got all touchy, huggy, kissy then sexual + romantic increasingly over the spring and summer. He has said "i love you" and "i love you, too" to me about 200 times on chat, in person, in bed, via texts.
We've slept together and had sex (he was a very sweet and generous giver of pleasure) at least 10 times and even traveled this summer together on vacation. When I tried to have the "relationship" conversation and discuss how to accept our friendship growing into being lovers, he told me could never be my lover or boyfriend, only my friend with benefits and then he stated he only said "i love you" or "i love you, too" or "xoxoxoxoxoxoxo" to me because it was socially acceptable and he doesn't even know what love is. He said he cared for me but only as a friend and he isn't willing to catagorize. When I got emotional/upset about him LYING that he loved me and spending months saying false words, which added to my increasing affection and desire for him, he shut me out by blocking my emails, texts, and AOL chat. It's been weeks of hell for me. Comments? Advice?

Anonymous said...

I knew something was wrong for decades and only recently realized it is Asp. I am shocked but now things make sense. I feel like the only real adult in the marriage and do everything for him. He is VERY nice though and high functioning and well liked because he never argues with anybody. His main emotion is happy all the time, even during a crisis. It is totally exhausting and very sad for me. He does no get sad so he is o'kay all the time. We are in counseling, but even the counselor wants me to be positive. There are no support groups for Asp. wives around here either. Good luck to all of us.:)

Anonymous said...

Michelle said it all. I have suspected my husband of 40 years has Asperger's for the last year. I love him dearly and know he is a good person and has love in him. Even so, I feel isolated and totally exhausted from the continual effort at what often feels like a one sided relationship. No one believes me!

Anonymous said...

I have been with my husband for almost 44 yrs and the last 15 have been the worst. I took a job I didn't want driving truck because I knew in my heart that he would never go it alone. As much as the AS person is a loner many times they work best with someone else by there side, and heaven knows I was an enabler the fist yrs of our marriage. We only know he has AS because our grandson, who is just like him was diagnosed 7 yrs ago. Thank God he has been able to get the social training he needs to help in adulthood. My husband just doesn't get or want to get the fact that he has caused me great sorrow and I am wondering after all these yrs if I can continue. I too know, it's not his fault but I also know it's not my fault and I don't want to end up not giving a da-n about the father of my children. God I need someone to vent to once in a while. ALD

Anonymous said...

There are many aspects of this article that really hit home but I don't feel that being married to a person with Asperger's is the worse thing in the world. Would you just up and run if your part developed cancer or was seriously injuried in a car crash and need care all the time? My husband has Asperger's and OCD. We haev been married for 6 years but together on and off for 13 years. We have 5 kids together, two of whom also have Asperger's. My daily life is VERY exhausting mentally and physically caring for my children and my husband especially since they all have their own set of challenges to tend to but I wouldn't trade my family for anything in the world!! I think as long as you (the neurotypical spouse) has some outlet to keep your self balanced it is very doable. I know my husband loves me with all his being. It may not always be percieved that way because all his love can seem small in comparason to a "normal" relationship but I know that he is giving all he can and that means something. It would be nice to have a forum to talk to others who understand where I am coming from though.

Karin Friedemann said...

I would recommend the yahoo group Aspergers and Other Half. They are a great group of ladies married to AS. Some are trying to make it work, others are trying to make divorce work. They helped me gain a lot of clarity. However, I recommend anyone who joins to use a new and secret email and a pseudonym to protect yourself from husband cyber stalking and protect the security of the group, as this has been an issue.

Anonymous said...

I really wish I had this article when I was divorcing my Aspie husband 3 years ago. The author decribed everything so perfectly. I couldn't put how he made me feel into words that the court would understand. They thought I was being "irrational"...he ended up with physical custody of our daughter who now has filled the role of caretaker, she is only 8. Even now I find myself bending over backwards just to avoid the fights.

Anonymous said...

I started seeing someone March 2009 who was self-proclaimed OCD. I suspected he had AS after talking to someone who's brother has AS and also knew this guy through her Mom's boss, who said he was not capable of being in a relationship because he was too selfish.
He was funny, sweet, and loved holding hands...but did seem converstionally disengaged and stingy.
We broke up 6 times , the first one being just 1 month into it, bc I would ask him why he didn't like me as much as I liked him, in various forms, and he would have a different excuse every time. He would want to get back together a few weeks or a few days later every time. He said each time that he had made a big mistake and had been selfish, scared, overwhelmed, a different "epiphany" everytime.
We did have sex after a year of being tgthr. Before that we were physical, kissing a lot in the first few months and he seemed particularly fascinated with my breasts.
I always knew there was "something" wrong with his emotional expression/understanding but I ignored it bc I thought he was just inexperienced and a little dense. He was very sweet and never expressed anger directly twds anyone although did call a lot of people stupid and was very angry behind their backs.
It seemed like no matter how hard I tried to talk to him, he never connected or responded in an engaged way, but would tell me that he always found me interesting. I was trying to "teach" him things like eye contact, emotional openness, trying new things, sharing his belongings, inviting me over, talking about his experiences, responding when someone talked to him, and yes, how to "love" someone. He said he didn't love me and never had for even a brief moment. We broke up for the 7th time (after I asked him why he didn't seem to want to spend time with me) and now that I'm reading this blog, I realize that ALL the flags were there the whole time and that I had 2 people suggest to me early on that he had "something" wrong with him, kind of like he was "Forrest Gump".
I know this sounds bitter and possibly confusing, but I hope that someone else can identify with it and not feel so alone.

Anonymous said...

So pleased to find this page. Married to an As man for 30 years, son, aged 28, with As, neither officially diagnosed. Am in despair with the pair of them. But the useful thing is, in spite of his ten dencies towards being a hermit, I have a few friends.

Anonymous said...

"non-feeling individual" - are you kidding? After 23 years of marriage to an AS husband who is a good provider and basically decent person, all I can say is "DON'T DO IT. Run run run as fast as you can. You may love this person, but unless you also despise yourself, you need to leave the relationship as far behind you as possible.

Anonymous said...

My husband was diagnosed with Asburger's a little over a year ago. We have been married almost 37 years and the stress and sacrifice of dealing 24/7 with a man/child has cost me my health, my job, college, and my sanity.

If I were a "non feeling individual", I would have left after our honeymoon.

While dating, I thought he was just quirky and shy. He made me believe we were on the same page about the future. After marriage, he lost interest in sex after three or four weeks and made it clear he did not want children.

I always loved to travel but he refused to go anywhere. In my area, a wife just did not travel without her husband, and if she did the gossip was terrible.

After moving to our current home 30 years ago, he refused to move to another state, city, or house. Now I am disabled in a non-accessible house and my life is a living hell.

An outsider looking in would see a man who is very smart, emotionally flat and likes to tell funny stories. Most people like him.

The outsider would probably feel sorry for him for having a fat, handicapped, angry and terrified wife and have no idea that when she married him she was pretty, healthy, fit, smart and people often commented on her beautiful smile. He took all of these things from me. I did not realize what was happening to me because I loved him. It was like a slow leak that you don't recognize until it is too late.

If you are willing to give up your every hope, dream, and ambition for someone who is unable or unwilling to be a partner in your marriage and does not appreciate you or your sacrifice, then a life with an Asburger's spouse is for you.

If I had known what I was getting into, I would never have gone on the first date.

You also need to consider this--what if YOU become seriously ill and need to lean on him? It's like leaning on a five-year-old child who has equal control of your finances.

My home is a bio-hazard because I am no longer physically able to clean, he is unwilling to clean and refuses to allow me to hire someone to help.

If you are considering marriage with an Asburger's person, my recommendation, after having lived it for these many years, is to RUN IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION!

Marriage is hard enough without having one of the partners emotionally stunted and having no common sense.

Anonymous said...

Some people say that charity and love are the same but I believe they differ in one important way.
Love a man and be loved back.
Love an Asperger and expect NOTHING back. To do this over years can only be worth it when we realize that charity is devoting ones self to another soul who is totally unable to return anything.
Nobel people do this all the time for others who are obviously afflicted. Aspergers LOOK so normal. But they ar pathetic people who need charity.

Felicia said...

I didn't know what Asperges was until I started dating someone who has it. Honestly, every day is a struggle but I want to try to make it work. He doesn't respond to me yelling at him but when I stay calm and in a nice voice state what I need to say he seems to understand. I've realized that teaching and learning (and I learn a lot from him) takes time and consistency. I couldn't get him to brush his teeth and then I just gave up. Later on I was gazing at him realizing how much I love him which brought tears to my eyes. When he asked me what was wrong I told him I loved him so much that didn't want to see all of his teeth rot out of his head because it would make him ugly and he'd have to wear false teeth. When he realized how much it meant to me he brushed his teeth. It's really hard but I love his sincerety.

Anonymous said...

Think carefully is my advice after 28 lonely years battling with something so subtley pervasive often visible only to me and the children. While being able to maintain a facade of normality in the work force, my husband comes home overloaded.He tries to be sociable but ends up taking insult from the most harmless conversation which then escalates into an argument which results in him becoming angry,accusing me of blaiming him for something I didnt even think, then comes the verbal abuse and ranting during which he seems quite confused and delusional ending in him crying and shutting himself off in the spare room.Thank god our sons are grown and seldom home.I feel like my life is over!

Anonymous said...

It has been a long lonely road bringing up the kids basically on my own, watching them hurt and confused by his lack of genuine interest in their lives.Being isolated and anxious because he functions well outside and sees helping people as part of his job. When at home he is either overly affectionate or a "cold fish" and seems resentful if family need his help. After many years I have succumed to depression and ill health,feeling worn down by the constant demands to behave in a certain way to make things run smoothly at home the expense of my own health and happiness.As he has gotten older he is more controlling
(he has a position of authority at work within the community)and yet is completely different at home, rarely shows compassion for us while claiming we are the centre of his world.When we are alone he will often find fault in what I say resulting in outbursts of temper which escaltes into verbal ranting lastingfor hours .when we are in company(including our sons) he is the model attentive husband I feel more like a possesion than a loved one.He says he loves me but it,s an unhealthy love which is all about his needs.It almost feels as if the novelty of having a wife wore off after he got promotion at work and didn't need my support anymore. God why am I still doing this!

Anonymous said...

This article is a blatant plagiarism of Carol Grigg's 2008 article "Asperger’s Syndrome in Relationships: Is there Hope?"

It's a great article. Carol Grigg was married to a man with AS for 20 years. She now runs Asperger Syndrome Partner Information Australia (ASPIA), a support group for people whose partners have Asperger’s disorder.

The original article may be found here:
http://www.aspia.org.au/pdf/Grigg_Is_There_Hope.pdf

Anonymous said...

He is filing for devorce after 13 years of marriage- I have been there for him every step of the way. He deosn't need it. Constent irritation, emotionally unavailable, virtual life obsessions - chats with women, secret life, etc.(he says he does it because I don't understand him) Told conselor he want me to be happy and he cannot do it. He also said that I don't make him happy and he doen't love me any more. I am hurt that we are losing the family - we have two girls. Should I feel lucky he is setting me free? God please help us to go through this!

Anonymous said...

Yes, feel lucky. You and your girls will be better off - but be careful where the girls are concerned - AS have poor everyday judgement.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your article. Finally I can understand what is going on in my house.

Anonymous

johnwthomson said...

I am just starting to realize this was my relationship too. We were in therapy, and the therapist looked at me with astonishment, and said,"you are afraid to ask for what you want!" I was so embarrassed, and I started to train myself to ask for what I wanted... like a conversation.

It never happened. When I finally started to withdraw, she went to the police. After twenty years of marriage, was homeless, penniless, and suddenly childless. There is nothing in this article that seems beaten to me. I dearly wished that I understood this three years ago.

If you suspect asperger's spouse, get a diagnosis, then... maybe, I wouldn't know.

Otherwise, get out, and expect a dirty fight, because they will think that everything belongs to them, and all the problems are caused by you.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank goodness I found this site. I fell in love with, and married this handsome, gentle, hardworking man. 6 years of trying to understand why he was so peculiar, I decided I had to get away from him. Then I broke my leg in a parachute accident which scuppered my bid for freedom. It was my mum who mentioned AS so I started researching it and (light bulb moment)all the odd behaviour started making sense. I didn't leave him, we've been married for 13 years now. I felt guilty because I now knew it wasn't his fault. I would have felt like I'd left a child in the middle of a road. I regret my decision to stay with him. I regret ever having met him. I am at the end of my tether. He has taken everything I have to give. He will not acknowledge that he has problems....it's me that's not normal. I am lonely, worn out, emotionally drained. But on the other hand - he is a talented carpenter - builder, he has given me a lovely home and needs me and I care deeply about him. I would dearly love to be able to meet up with like minded wives, perhaps once a month, just to talk, cry, drink tea and be able to talk to others who are going through the same thing. I am in Kent. Anyone got any ideas.

Anonymous said...

Affective Deprivation Disorder

I am the wife of a man recently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS). I was reaching out for support and information for myself when I came upon a description of Affective Deprivation Disorder (AfDD). When I saw those words my heart leapt – resonance – someone has put a name to what I have been feeling for many years.
It feels like I have no more reserves for tolerating a lack of resonance, understanding, and empathetic validation. I feel depleted and cannot tolerate sharing my feelings and having them unacknowledged or invalidated. I have become COMPLETELY DEPLETED (CD).
In this CD state I have been reaching out for help, information and empathetic validation. The first link I clicked on responded with “Error 401 file not found.” In effect - affective deprivation!
So I looked at some other sites. Most of them are hostile towards those suffering from AfDD because it has been associated with AS and the Aspies are fighting back! More affective deprivation (with a little abuse thrown in for good measure).
I went to my therapist after a week of emotional devastation over my husband’s diagnosis – I shared how I saw the situation as hopeless. She responded, “I Disagree.” !!!
For the record, it feels like a hopeless diagnosis FOR ME god damn it!
And YES I am suffering from AfDD – and I don’t give a FUCK who doesn’t agree. You see, now I’m not reaching out for anymore god dammed help. I’m writing my own fucking article on my own fucking disorder in order to help MYSELF. So fuck all of you. Fuck you all to fucking hell!
AfDD can lead to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, apathy, isolation and feelings of exhaustion and emptiness. It occurs when one’s feelings are unreciprocated and/or invalidated over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.
Gee, I’m feeling a little better. Thank you Me, for understanding and validating my feelings!
Many wives of AS husbands (we are also known as NT’s, i.e. neurotypicals, normal people married to people with AS). You see, we’re nothing special, just typical people married to “special” people who do not return our warmth, expressed feelings of love and encouragement. In return for loving deeply and completely from the bottom of our hearts, we receive… nothing at all – or perhaps some good old fashioned invalidation from our therapists (the people we fucking PAY for a little empathetic validation).
I say to those of you who are also suffering from AfDD, your feelings are valid, reasonable, and completely understandable! You matter. Your feelings matter. You deserve love, warmth, and empathetic validation. Your lives are not “typical,” they are tragic, and your efforts to persevere, one day at a time, are nothing short of heroic.
I tried to join an online support group for the wives of those with AS. The link brought me to an error message: File Not Found. I emailed the organizer who did RESPOND! She was kind enough to refer me to some books and articles and to let me know that the link to the online support group should be fixed soon! Gee, thanks! At least I got a crumb!
I have lived my life on crumbs. But, at present, I am starving and unable to sustain myself on crumbs. Sorry!
So now, I say to you and to MYSELF – find a therapist who offers EMPATHY. Pay them to feed you empathetic validation. If they blow it – FIRE their asses. If you can’t find ANYONE and/or can’t AFFORD a therapist who can and will provide this, well I guess you’re going to have to provide it to yourself! By definition empathy comes from an “other” so this is impossible. But let’s give it a shot, shall we?

Karin Friedemann said...

By the way, I would recommend an online support group for women married/partnered with, or divorcing/divorced from men with AS. http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/AspergersAndOtherHalf/

There you can find support, whether you are a wife desperate for emotional support in order to stay in your marriage, or if you are desperate to get out of your marriage. Very lively discussions and will give you more knowledge about AS than you can get from books.

Anonymous said...

My husband has Asperger's Syndrome. For me it often feels very much like adopting a special needs child. According to my husband, for him it seems like taking on a bushel of trouble to no purpose.

We do love each other and don't plan to end the marriage. However, I have exhausted us over the years through frantic activity that veiled my frustration and horror in the realization that my husband cannot love me the way I need/want/deserve/expect...

I don't even know which of my above attitudes about love are really true any more. I feel a gigantic 'cloudy' kind of love from my husband but it lacks any focus or momentum and I can't really understand how to relate to this love (and to him) other than to sort of bask in it. Meanwhile I feel like I'm living for two - exhausted all the time.

Traditional marriage and careers have emphasized our differences to the point that we move in almost different spheres; any NT partner who works as hard as required to keep engagement in a marriage knows that this is a serious problem - it's hard on any marriage. We are going to change our lifestyle. It's not working.

You can see that maintaining my marriage has become a primary activity of my life. I have mixed feelings about it.

Finally. My husband used to become very defensive when I suggest that he is 'deficient' in any way. I don't say "you have AS, you can't do/be/say/know..." - instead, I say "can you imagine how it would be to... so can you understand that I mean this when I..." A grown man who would mouth off to his wife during such a conversation is simply immature, AS or no AS. Everyone learns to accept criticism and do something constructive with it. Having a fragile ego is a human problem. My husband now understands that the irritation that people feel with AS defensiveness is not a personal attack nor is it even related to AS. He has become much more open-minded and relaxed as a result.

Zoey said...

Great post! I'm the wife of a wonderful man with high functioning autism or Asperger's. We're sharing our story at vitiligolovesocd.com!

Anonymous said...

I just found out that my husband has asperger's. He also has GAD and takes medication for it. I am so glad that I found this article. It describes my husband's behavior to a tee and is an accurate account of what it's like to live with someone that asperger's. It certainly clarifies things for me. I have been married for 7 years and have contemplated divorce many times and am at the end of my rope. We are in couseling again as a last effort to save this marriage and I am also seeing a therapist by myself for support and guidance in dealing with this so I am a very understanding wife. I believe in the vows I took and that marriage is forever, but this disorder is taking a toll on not only on the marriage, but my self worth, too and I am so tired of feeling unhappy and being alone depsite the fact that I am married. I always knew that something wasn't quite right with my husband. For the most part, I do all the chores and take all of the responsibilty in the marriage. I make all of the plans and all of the decision. My husband works and grocery shops, but he only grocery shops because he likes doing it, so if he doesn't like doing something, he doesn't. Even though I now know why my husband behaves the way that he does, it doesn't really change the fact that the relationship is challenging and exhausting. A relationhip is supposed to be a partnership and my marriage is not that at all. I feel like we are roommates. Although my husband is basically a sweet and nice guy, it's all about him and his needs and wants. Nothing is ever about me. I am the giver all of the time and it's very hard doing all of the giving and not getting my needs met and because I cannot connect to him, I feel lonely and isolated. He never, ever gets how I feel and my feelings are seen by him as complaints and are always dismissed. We rarley have sex or talk unless he has something to say. His behavior can be crazy making at times and he never takes accountability for his actions so he never apologizes or sees the world through any one elses eyes but his and since he can't communicate in a constructive way, talking to him is often pointless and most conversations result in him telling me to shut up and being called names. He has also been physically abusive and can't keep friends nor does he have a good relationship with his parents or siblings.

Anonymous said...

I'm 12 months out from a 9 month marriage to a man diagnosed with AS (dx after our marriage). He changed literally overnight, the warm emotions that he was so good at role playing dissappeared once he had the ring on my finger and a housewife to look after him. I'm still recovering from the emotional trauma and physical effects that almost have killed me. My advice, if you're dating a man with AS: run, don't walk, don't look back, just get out NOW.

Anonymous said...

Describes my ex husband perfectly. I will give a copy of this to my ex mother in law as she cannot understand why our marriage didn't work. This explains it wonderfully. Thank you!!
My daughter has AS but my ex totally denies that he may have it. He is not a man that you can reason with or knows the word compromise. He does not do talking. He is totally arrogant and self-centered. It was a very lonely marriage for me and the children were never good enough at anything in his eyes. It made me very stressed and I eventually ended up with very bad stomach problems.
Best thing I did was to get out of it and embark on being 'me' again.

Anonymous said...

I just ended a relationship with a guy who has Aspergers. i didn't realize it until I met another guy who may have it. Educating myself made me realize why this man could not understand my tears or sleep with me. We had sex the 1st 3 months and nothing for 7 years. He hated physical contact BUT he was a great person who I trusted and respected. Very devoted to me and my kids. Life was hard for him when I said he had to leave but his habits were ANNOYING beyond belief. He also never raised his voice to me or was mean...ever. I am here to say if you meet an Aspie educate yourself and know what to expect. Good Luck!

jmd said...

Thank you for this article.I am overwhelmed, relived and sad all at the same time. My husband of 9 years has been recently told he has a mild form of Asperger's. (in addition to being bipolar and having ADHD). For 4 years I went to work with a woman who was my boss who was just plain crazy and mean. I thought that was why i always felt so much stress. That and the fact the my husband had become unemployed for 2 years (he still is not working in his field of architecture - he works as a cashier in a grocery store and is angry about that...) We also were caring for his mother who had pancreatic cancer during those 4 years. i blamed myself for everything - every blow up, every sigh he generates , every look of disguest, the fact we qare not sexual or even affectionate. I now know NOT to blame myself but I do nto know how to start taking care of me. I get advice from some peopleho know that say leave, and my own parents think I am not patient enough. THis is my second marriage. WE would be great friends and I have suggested that to him. HE wants to stay. (why not, it is easy for him - all his needs are being met. rambling and frustrated and onb the verge it seems. Not that tears will bring him any closer. It pushes him away. I want that strong woman back that I used to be and need help finding her.

Anonymous said...

Love this article. This is the first time I have read about how the partner feels. How trapped and suffocating it can be living with AS. I have done everything I know how to do but nothing helps the way he thinks. I can't change how he thinks it's always my fault and he can never look at his own actions. I find it becoming impossible to continue living life with him. I do love him but it's become more like a mother child relationship.

Although I know it's not his fault it is still hard to deal with the lack of emotional support and belonging. The isolation that becomes part of the lifestyle is too much after 20 years. I just want a normal conversation for 20 minutes without a debate and when there is a problem someone to stay and work it out. I'm at the end of my rope. I gave it my all and tried to cope but I can't do it any longer or I will lose what I have left of who I am.

Anonymous said...

This is so helpful. I am seriously considering leaving my husband of 26+ years because I can't see a way to stay with him. I am so lonely now that the kids have left. Like so many others have said, he is a kind, dependable man, but cannot relate. I was relieved when my doctor explained what it was (AS) and said that with my need to connect, there is very little that can be done.

Anonymous said...

FOR YOUR INFORMATION:

Wives of men with Aspergers feel rejected already, this is to let everyone know that this group is not currently accepting new members [though I couldn't understand their reasons as they text was somewhat garbled.
I know we should not take this personally, but for me it was yet another rejection, which i coI ld really do without.
Regards,
Mya

shelly said...

Wow...I see now that its ok to feel the way I do. I have been married almost 8 years to a guy I just thought was selfish, inconsiderate, rude, embarrassing and basically a roommate. It started off great we both were in love and wanted to start a family. He was caring and would do anything for me. I married after only knowing him a few months. And within 6 months of marriage I was pregnant and trapped. Things changed. He didn't back me or include me on anything and he treated co workers better than his own family. We built our own business but he would make huge decisions without including me and hired woman who made my life a living hell. We ended up with 2 kids and a loveless marriage. I devoted my life to the kids and watched him push me out of the business and watched his poor choices and lack of organisation ruin it. Our son got diagnosed at age 5 w As and adhd and I suspected maybe my husband had it.2 years later I got a phone call from one of our ex employees saying he was cheating on me. When confronted he said we had no marriage and were only roommates. 3 months later after him refusing marriage counseling I left him. Of course then he wanted his family back. Now we have been seperated 10 months and we are going thru a divorce. It will be a miracle if I escape in one piece. He has argued over every little thing. Including the kids he was never involved with and who have only gotten to know him since we left. I'm tired. It takes all I've got to help my son. And to make time for my daughter. He has taken over my counseler my church my friends. And now that he has become a Christian they all think I need to save my marriage. I'm exhausted I spent years feeling alone and now I know why. He will not acknowledge that he has this and he claims I'm mentally ill. I feel trapped and sorry for my kids. Help !!

Anonymous said...

After reading the article and each comment...I asked myself "When did I have time to write 51 comments"? It seems like every person was laying out my life. I am in disbelief! I've gone through all of this too. I remember that he told me he loved me on our wedding day (26 years ago) but nothing since. I constantly contemplate divorce/escape. I'm all used up,resentful,lonely, and sick of sacrficing "who I am/was" to serve a man who doesn't/can't give a anything emotionally to me. Somebody please give me new coping skills!

Anonymous said...

I just figured out my spouse of 40 years is probly AS. But my first thoughts were he is a narcissist, which is sure similar. Why is it that no one on these blogs seems to see the similarity of these two disorders.
My nephew & grandson have been diagnosed with Aspergers so that is how I gave to the theory that this fits my husband also.
I am living in my home in one bedroom so as to stay totally away from my husband. We have not been together in 8 yrs., but I have put in so many years that now my responses are irrational & I question my own sanity. Neither of my children care about me at all. Their dad had a heart attack a few yrs ago so he gets all the sympathy. So I just pull inward more and more, avoid and feel very very very depressed. Working in a very stressful job and feeling useless is my life at 59 yrs. Yes I am feeling very sorry for myself. Thanks for any support or anyone else with this many years invested. Want to stay anonymous for now.

Anonymous said...

Your blog reads like my life. After a very difficult 21 years of marriage I recently realized my husband fits the AS profile only because my son was evaluated. This realization was truly eye-openning and validating as I have experienced utter despair over years of coercion, manipulation, and other forms of emotional abuse by my husband, as well as years of intense loneliness. The fact he doesn't get it makes it all the more head-bangingly frustrating. I am now in therapy. I just started taking anxiety medication and I am suffering health affects including PTSD after years of enduring such a marriage. Finally, I am realizing I am not going crazy, I am not making up or doubting my eperience.

Anonymous said...

I am the only one who knows that my husband is AS. Others see him as strange, unfriendly and very intellegent.
I see him as a textbook clasic according to everything you describe.
Emotionlly, if we were velcro, he has NO LOOPS

Anonymous said...

Yes yes and YES. EVERYTHING you all said. I am heartbroken, angry, confused and terrified. I have recently been considering some kind of online affair type thing to try and get some of my needs met because I am DYING inside.

*deep sigh*

Its just CRUSHING to be trapped in this situation.

Girls considering marrying an Aspie. You are kidding yourself. They cannot love you, the can *act* NT for short periods of time but thats it. Run far and fast. Seriously.

Debra said...

Why don't we start our own support group? I was only married to my husband for 2 years. We ended up getting an annulment because he couldn't commit to me moving in with him. I lived in Denver and he in LA. It was up to me to make all the arrangements to come and see him. He has MANY women friends that do everything for him and didn't see what was wrong with him continuing those relationships. I keep telling him to leave me alone and he waits 2-4wks and sucks me back into his life. I know he is doing so so he can have a partner to do things for him and not because he loves me and doesn't want to live without 'me'. I'm just another woman that maybe he liked more than his other women friends. When I'm not with him, I'm strong. When he sucks me back in and the nurturing side of me rears it's head, I feel he needs me. I want to be needed but I also need to be wanted. I am willing to share my information with others and we can see what we can develop. He's called me 5 times already today. By the way, I'm a Nurse and it is in my nature to give care. However, I am also a loving, caring, sexual, sensual woman that needs a mans touch that craves 'me' and not all women. Anyway.....my email address is: 'itscurtaintime@yahoo.com' and my name is Debra.

Anonymous said...

I am SO Sick and Tired of hearing..They can't help it. They are unaware of it. They are wired different. Have more understanding. Imagine what it is like to be him...Oh Ok let's talk about that one..let me Imagine what it is like to be Him...Uuuummm..Well, everything is done for me. I can complain and moan until she does it exactly like I want it and then I will still find fault. I get to go everywhere I want to go and do everything I want to do. I get to have sex and get mine without having to show any love or passion. I get to talk about everything I want to and ignore and watch TV when she speaks. I get to tell her I think she is fat, her food is bland, her ideas suck, she is lazy. EVERY conversation revolves around me. I get to talk for hours about stuff that is sooo dry and stupid. If she asks me how was my day I will tell her what tool I used...how big the part was...if I turned it clockwise or counter clockwise..every word that was sai..who worked with me...how long they took for lunch..what their wife is doing...what they had on...What THE HELL! It is like the Insanity plea...If a man with a low IQ stabs you 97 times he could be deemed CRAZY. If another man stabs you 97 times because he is just evil and wants your car and purse..what does it matter!!! You are STILL DEAD!...I am sinking and I am the one in need of alot of help...so Imagine what it is Like FOR ME for a change!

Anonymous said...

I read in these comments 2 different sides: The side that I agree 100% with, how emotionally draining and painful it is to live with a boyfriend with aspergers. and the side: who seems almost defensive against us who feel that way. I'm not saying my boyfriend is a horrible monster and I hate him. Obviously I love him very much to be with him for 8 yrs. cause he does have a wonderful side to him. He is silly and cute. He was more respectful than other guys I dated in some ways, but then he doesn't respect my feelings. I often tell him that he is over sensitive about his own feelings, and too insensitive about my feelings. As I research more about the aspergers, I find that is one of the symptoms. I don't think we should feel sorry for and pity our partners with aspergers because that is enabling their condition. You can show love and support without showing pity. I believe those with aspergers can learn to see, care, and respect their loved ones feelings, it will just take more effort on their part. I grew up with a father who has schizo-affective disorder and though its very different than aspergers, it has similarities in how they make their loved ones feel alone. It isn't their fault they have the disorders they have, but it isn't our fault either, they hurt us and then act like its our own fault they did. Thats what my bf does. He treats me like I deserve for him to say, my family hates me just cause he sick of me telling him what to do. He wants to make his own decisions and have me mind my own business when his decisions often lead to people stealing from us or someone getting hurt. I won't lower my expectations because I have more hope and faith in him than that. He has shown improvement in seeing how his actions can affect his loved ones in a hurtful or negative way, but we still have a ways to go and I am being very supportive. Thats why I'm researching it.

Unknown said...

Hi

I am a male married for 20 years.
Tears began to swell in my eyes ,when i read my story here.( my wife for 20 years is asperger)
Am thinking of divorce ... but weighing the pros and cons, as i have 2 grown up children.

I am confused .. added to that my wife is elder by 3 years..double whammy

Anonymous said...

I have just read this article and the comments and can totally empathise with other wives. I particularly see the points of those of you who, like me are sick of being told that it IS workable.
I am on the seventh year of marriage to a very successful professional man of 50 who has been formally diagnosed for a year and we've known for about the last three when 'the penny dropped' for me because I'd worked with AS students in the past. The last five years have been a descent into hell. I have lost a highly successful carreer because of the combination of confusion/emotional vacuum/and his obsession with work (he also works 150 miles away and commutes). I used to have a wide bunch of friends but he saw them off through rudeness/thinking he was much more important or making it difficult for me to see them. Two bouts of clinical depression. A 'cry for help' suicide attempt. Social isolation. I used to be in a caring profession and now I feel that I have no one to care about except this 'brick' who I can tell is faking what he thinks affection is and then flying into rages and violence when his fakery doesn't work. No 'conversation' is possible. I get interrupted, reminded of my nervous breakdown and actually told what I'm thinking.
If you live with an AS husband you have to give up the whole concept of a shared, reciprocal journey of a marriage. I have asked him to get help and he won't. They think the sun shines out of his a**e in his profession field and he is Mr Charming to all his clients and colleagues. It makes me cringe to see him do it and know what I'll get at home later.

Anonymous said...

I ran out of space on the last post but would like to ask whether anyone else out there has a similar pattern on the part of their AS spouse?
Initial huge attention and charm. Bombardment with attention and compliments. Being listened to. Presents. Flowers.
Once married a change with less focus on the relationship and doing things together. Focus on career above everything else. Addicted to blackberry and no time off limits for calls. (Even wedding day and most of the honeymoon!) Making uni-lateral decisions that affect both of you and then presenting you with what's going to happen. (Such as going to work 150 miles away). Saying he's going to do things with you and then completely forgetting.
Coming home and doing exactly what he likes when he likes. Ignoring you and your requests. Ignoring or minimising what you do. No response to facial expression or body-language, even tears (which just seem to annoy). Little or no facial expression from him. Blank looks. Loud sighing and yawning. Being rude to your friends by ignoring them or saying completely inappropriate things which he finds 'funny'. Little real sense of humour and repetition of unfunny jokes and 'funny' things he thinks he's said. Criticising what you like and accusing you of having 'too many opinions' - he actually said those words! Conversations which are like a competition. Facial expressions such as smiling that seem forced. Focus always brought around to him.
I am truly at the end of my tether. I have no friends and have had none for over a year. I don't want to go out. I don't want to go out with him because he totally takes charge of everything. I have no siblings or family. Yesterday he flew into a rage and yanked off my wedding rings and threw them and anything that he could find that I'd given him around the house. Today I feel numb. Have just sat trying not to annoy him. That's no good either. He accused me of being miserable and said that as my life's 'misery' I should end it. There is no chance of a conversation that would make me feel understood. I just get told what I'm thinking and what I should do.
Now he's calmed down and is off back working from home and making calls.
I am now financially dependent on him and have nowhere to go. I have lost all sense of the professional, confident, social woman I was before I met him.
I echo that something needs to be done to support those of us who live with AS partners. I have tried contacting TV production companies to suggest some sort of documentary about the 'undiagnosed' who were born way before AS was recognised mainstream. I suggest others do the same. I understand that people with AS cannot help it but I am also sick of the trotting out of brilliant names such as Einsten and Bill Gates as examples of the condition. This is skewed. There are thousands of different shades of AS and thousands of us have to deal with it each day in our boring non-brilliant lives.

Anonymous said...

It's been over 3 years since my divorce was final after a 32 year marriage to a man who could NEVER get IT!! After reading your article I now know leaving was the only option I had to find me again. The self-centered man I was with for 33 years is still trying to understand why I had to divorce him. Our 2 sons have tried to talk to him & get him to move on, but see he is stuck. He can't see himself in the mirror. The years of us 3 or captive friends having to listen to him & his hours of repetitive stories are gone for us thank god. His inability to take responsibility for his actions in our marriage or in his life with it always being someone else's fault for failures in business & personal life I don't have to deal with anymore. The meltdowns are not my problem...... I can now be me & happy. I only recently found out about AS & I am thankful to know it wasn't just me feeling like I must be crazy no one else understands. AS men are masters of hiding their true selves around others & making themselves out to be the perfect husbands most of the time... But it all finally comes out at the end when she leaves. Thank you, thank you for shining a light so I could see it wasn't all my fault.

Anonymous said...

I have lived with an AS spouse for 14 years. It has been a long, lonely and frustrating life. Walking on eggshells is the "norm" for living. Enduring repetitive verbal abuse and witnessing adult tantrums has become a routine event. AS individuals learn coping behaviors that allow them to "act" their way through social situations and personal intimacy, but that they don't actually invest any feelings or emotions in them. It is simply an action that is expected of them. A social convention. A NT spouse feels empty, unheard and frustrated. Life is short. Find a healthy and well functioning partner or live with a dog. Life will be far more rewarding.

shelly said...

I've been seperated for a year...and I'm shocked at how different he can act around others. It's Like a personal hell he saves for me. I left him a year ago..after years of distance and exhaustion. I never knew he had aspergers. I just knew our marriages was failing. I felt unloved and I felt unappreciated. He wouldn't call me during the day anymore. He pushed me out of our family owned business. He took woman employees side over mine. He argued and yelled at me and defended his relationship to other woman. I felt insecure and uncomfortable. But he made sure I knew he was always right. He was arrogant and selfish. Recovering alcholic who relapsed and lied about it frequently and abused pain killers. We have 2 young kids and I felt like the kids and I were nothing to him. He complained about $ and we had seperate bank accounts. He talks too loud and its embarassing. He was overboard in the news and politics and knows all sorts of useless info. Like sports facts and political facts. I just never felt connected to him. He would want to be intimate but feel he owed me nothing emotionally or intellectually. He talked gross and his personal hygiene habits drove me crazy. Soon he became a monster I tried desperately to avoid. Every conversation was an argument and I felt strongly he was keeping something from me. I hated being around him.

laughing helps said...

fantastic article! for ten years i couldn't figure out why my husband was so distant and appeared uncaring - after two professional diagnosis' i am now able to understand! i've recently started a blog about our marriage...

Laughing Helps: Marriage Spiced with Aspergers

http://laughinghelps2.blogspot.com/

for us, our marriage is perfect!

Anonymous said...

Ya'lls words have done wonders for me. I actually feel like ya'll are the best friends I have because I can't tell anyone close to me the personal hell I am going thru. He is so nice and wonderful...yea right! In the beginning I thought he was..he doted..he called me a Princess. He let everyone know how much he loved me and how special I was and all the things he did for me and then one day I woke up and POOF...I was in hell and it was all gone. So do I say..you know all those wonderful things I said about him and then continued to say so I wouldn't look like I was mental...well guess what? I haven't had sex in 2 1/2 years. he told me he needed me to lose weight that I wasn't what he was used to. That having me around was like having a kid without child support. he asked me how much it would cost someone to live in a house like this...It is plain jane and small, not what I AM USED TO! Would I ever say that to him ..of course not. He actually pulled out a piece of paper and told me how much more electricity is used now that I am here and how many more loads of clothes are washed. My parents absolutely love him and if I go I will be taking him away. The grandkids adore him. The kids love him and my daddy thinks he is the best. Every conversation that anyone has always ends up coming back to him and something he has or has done.

He just got a new toy and EVERY conversation, every thought , and every purchase is on it. WHy did I have to fall in love with my Prince and wake up one day to the most hurtful, uninterested, full of himself man. I had never heard of aspergers. He had no idea either. then after many things that started happening I researched and said OMgosh! I don't care what it is called anymore or how he can or CAN'T feel. I don't care if he is different or what the hell is going on with him. the only thing I am now interested in is getting my life together and inventing a new life for myself and praying everyday that I have the strength not to blow my own head off.

He has tore me down from my looks, brains, I can't do anything right. I don't have any good ideas. I am non existent UNLESS he lets me know what I am doing wrong and what else I can do for him. You know, I know this sounds crazy also but I have a burning desire to contact a couple of his past girlfriends who he broke their heart and let them know what the hell is wrong with him because I know they were depressed and feeling bad about themselves when it ended.

The thing is he would marry me today if I said I wanted to. he has asked me many times. I just look at him in amazement. HOW can someone who is so frigin unhappy with the fat chick who is a dirty housekeeper and does not turn him on in over two years want to marry her? I am not one to unload on the metally challenged but here lately I have lost my marbles. I have called him a monster. I have called him RAIN MAN several times. I tell him he needs help and he is a mean and destructive person and how did I get so lucky to get the one crazy, non feeling and hollowed hearted man who is Rain Man's brother. Now, I am feeling horrible guilt and I will until he comes home and stresses me out and I flip my wig and I say even more because I can't help myself anymore. It is self preservation I guess and him or me at the time of crazyness. So we are BOTH crazy now. I cry myself to sleep every night and he is right beside me and falls right asleep like a baby..I cry and he snores. I am on antidepressants now. I am a very strong woman who has been reduced to a recluse who has no self worth and no confidence. I know all this but it still is who I am everyday. It is killing me.

Someone mentioned starting our own support group. If I get someone who can help me figure out how we can do it. Who all wants to participate. There is no shame in my game. I could really use ya'll in my life more...I am sinking.

Anonymous said...

Ya'lls words have done wonders for me. I actually feel like ya'll are the best friends I have because I can't tell anyone close to me the personal hell I am going thru. He is so nice and wonderful...yea right! In the beginning I thought he was..he doted..he called me a Princess. He let everyone know how much he loved me and how special I was and all the things he did for me and then one day I woke up and POOF...I was in hell and it was all gone. So do I say..you know all those wonderful things I said about him and then continued to say so I wouldn't look like I was mental...well guess what? I haven't had sex in 2 1/2 years. he told me he needed me to lose weight that I wasn't what he was used to. That having me around was like having a kid without child support. he asked me how much it would cost someone to live in a house like this...It is plain jane and small, not what I AM USED TO! Would I ever say that to him ..of course not. He actually pulled out a piece of paper and told me how much more electricity is used now that I am here and how many more loads of clothes are washed. My parents absolutely love him and if I go I will be taking him away. The grandkids adore him. The kids love him and my daddy thinks he is the best. Every conversation that anyone has always ends up coming back to him and something he has or has done.

He just got a new toy and EVERY conversation, every thought , and every purchase is on it. WHy did I have to fall in love with my Prince and wake up one day to the most hurtful, uninterested, full of himself man. I had never heard of aspergers. He had no idea either. then after many things that started happening I researched and said OMgosh! I don't care what it is called anymore or how he can or CAN'T feel. I don't care if he is different or what the hell is going on with him. the only thing I am now interested in is getting my life together and inventing a new life for myself and praying everyday that I have the strength not to blow my own head off.

He has tore me down from my looks, brains, I can't do anything right. I don't have any good ideas. I am non existent UNLESS he lets me know what I am doing wrong and what else I can do for him. You know, I know this sounds crazy also but I have a burning desire to contact a couple of his past girlfriends who he broke their heart and let them know what the hell is wrong with him because I know they were depressed and feeling bad about themselves when it ended.

The thing is he would marry me today if I said I wanted to. he has asked me many times. I just look at him in amazement. HOW can someone who is so frigin unhappy with the fat chick who is a dirty housekeeper and does not turn him on in over two years want to marry her? I am not one to unload on the metally challenged but here lately I have lost my marbles. I have called him a monster. I have called him RAIN MAN several times. I tell him he needs help and he is a mean and destructive person and how did I get so lucky to get the one crazy, non feeling and hollowed hearted man who is Rain Man's brother. Now, I am feeling horrible guilt and I will until he comes home and stresses me out and I flip my wig and I say even more because I can't help myself anymore. It is self preservation I guess and him or me at the time of crazyness. So we are BOTH crazy now. I cry myself to sleep every night and he is right beside me and falls right asleep like a baby..I cry and he snores. I am on antidepressants now. I am a very strong woman who has been reduced to a recluse who has no self worth and no confidence. I know all this but it still is who I am everyday. It is killing me.

Someone mentioned starting our own support group. If I get someone who can help me figure out how we can do it. Who all wants to participate. There is no shame in my game. I could really use ya'll in my life more...I am sinking.

Anonymous said...

I am dating someone who has been assessed as borderline asperger's but I disagree and want him to be assessed for ADHD. We have a very loving relationship when it is just us two but his family are very against me dating him because they think he is "handicapped" and somehow I am exploiting him by being with him. They think he is "bad" and treat him like the "special case" in the family, they tell me he is mad, bad, and lots of other things. When I tried to say I was going to help him get assessed for adhd they made out I had absolutely no idea what I was talking about and made him out to be a bad person by saying he had broken his parents hearts and they wished he never had this asperger's syndrome. I now refuse to see them. He owes a lot to them for supporting him financially when it was tough and helping him get into council housing but I don't feel they actually "know" him like I do and I feel so alone when it comes to wanting to support or help him. My brother has very severe ADHD and so I just know that's what my boyfriend has... because how is it that I know how to talk with/be with my boyfriend and we never argue or fight, I know that he is on the autistic spectrum but I feel so alone with this, is there anyone out there who has problems with their boyfriend/husband's families because this is where I think a lot of the problems can start too. They are very dismissive of me and I even feel as if I am doing something illegal by dating him because of his disability. It's a disgusting feeling when all I know I love him for who he is and want him to have as much support as possible so that he no longer feels like he is "naughty, bad, mad".

Anonymous said...

I am now separated from my aspergic husband after 22 years of lonliness,feeling not good enough, and generally walking on eggshells. I am so glad i found this site to be able to read about other peoples experiences of this cruel condition. I am in Kent if anyone wants to chat. catherinemary3@hotmail.co.uk

Anonymous said...

Dating someone with Aspergers is so exhausting, on every level. If I were you I would run the other way as fast you can. Because over time it will wear you down. You will have to take charge because that is just how it is . An Aspergers person is odd and quirky it makes social situations uncomfortable. They can be really smart, kind . He appears preoccupied with his mind and is emotionally unavailable and unaware. You will begin to accept the abnormal as noraml. It is like he is vacant from a normal part of life. I'm with someone that has Aspergers and ADD he is obsessed with words and information. He is a compulsive talker with the kids I see one withdraws because it is draining the other one views the interaction as love and support, but it is just a compulsive talker spewing out information as fast as he can. What are the long term effects on the children and how will this effect them when seeking a mate?

Anonymous said...

the whole subject of marriage/partnership to an Aspergers sufferer is tainted by sexism.Almost all Asperger's spouses are wives, but husbands must exist in equal numbers. Why so little help or support for male partners? This inequality represents Asperger sufferers as predominantly male. Is that true?

Anonymous said...

Thank all of you for validating what I am presently going through with my AS husband of one year who I diagnosed as a result of teaching AS students and then reading six books to confirm my diagnosis suspicions. I am now living in isolation and condemnation and seeking support through sites like this. I am also trying to be proactive in discovering how I can create autonomy while staying in this marriage that is becoming intolerable.

Anonymous

Karin Friedemann said...

From what I have read, there are four times as many men with AS than women, which could explain why there are more spousal support groups for wives. There is also the added dynamic of financial dependence: women are more likely than men to be dependent on their husbands and unable to leaven an unhappy marriage. Thirdly, from what I have read, women with AS are less likely to marry or have children, thus reducing the number of lives dependent on them as compared to AS men, who tend to marry nurturing type women, who take on the traditional wife role and help them navigate life's confusion while taking total responsibility for the household and children. A woman with AS would be less likely to find a man with the characteristics of a traditional wife.

Anonymous said...

One of my daugters was found to have AS. Thats when i realised my wife has AS and her mother alot of her family mosty woman. nearly all divorced with kids it was all ways the partners fault.my life has been hell!mostly the Controling(lose your house and kids)Now we're about to seperate not my choice. Made a stand once to often i guess. Am worried about the kids you know the right role models

Anonymous said...

Being married to a man with Aspergers has always been difficult but it feels as though things are getting worse. We've been married 20 years. The problem is that we have had some negativity in our household, difficulties with parenting, finances, my own personal development issues, the usual life problems... But my husband has virtually no resilience. He lives entirely in the moment. Things started "going downhill" for him within months after we met because he started out on the high of falling in love and making the commitment. Each time I criticized or became angry, each frustration or failing, just knocked him down a little more and now he's horribly depressed, listless, with no self-esteem.

It hasn't been easy to mind my anger with his extreme passivity and procrastination. He was ignored as a child and spent nearly all his time alone. He is not as disabled as he behaves; he is quite high-functioning. He simply hasn't gotten any ego development. He has no interests. He just does minimal duties in the household and career and then wants to be entertained. When I met him he purchased entertainment (TV, movies, restaurants) but after we met he just wanted to hang out with me for entertainment.

Like any NT spouse, I feel burdened by the autism. But I also feel burdened by the increase in his introversion. Recently I've told him that there have been things over the years that I've held in and that are poisoning my feelings for him. For example, early in our marriage he took me on a surprise vacation of the least developed region of our state; he thought it was a funny idea. There was nowhere to eat, nothing to see, and only one shoddy hotel in the whole county. I was horrified and endured the trip as well as I could. But now almost 10 years later I just felt that we must come to a better understanding of the commonality of the marriage (what works for BOTH of us) or end up estranged. Meaning that after 20 years he really should have developed some preferences and a few realistic goals for the marriage and his personal life other than doing whatever I say. I've adapted to him for too long and it's taken a toll on me.

It is just this sort of communication that I have not been able to express because he only hears one message: "you like me / you don't like me; I please you / I don't please you." I can only ever give him positive messages because he is entirely reactive and negative messages lower his self-esteem. He has no method for raising his self-esteem. This is the problem that I feel came from the neglect of his parents and peers - that he is unable to construct and maintain even a rudimentary ego (sense of self). I know that it can be better because he had a degree of purpose and self-esteem when our relationship was new.

I have and continue to help him. It's depressing me. I feel that he is becoming more and more of a cross to bear and less and less of a companion. I am still working on this and am acting on some ideas. I hope he can and will, as well.

Thanks for the chance to share. Courage and joy to all who struggle with autism!

Anonymous said...

I can just confirm. Realsing that he has Aspergers hit me out of the blue, 15 years into the marriage - and I am a mental health professional familiar with these things! It is tough yes. But one can certainly see some good points too. E.g. one of the books I read listed the reasons to employ Aspies - are folks familiar with it or shall I post it here?

Anonymous said...

Run, neuro typical, run!

No matter how much you love an AS, it will never be that soul wrenching connection .

They aimply cannot. Not their fault. But you can avoid this rabbit hole.

Anonymous said...

Karin, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting this subject out there. faaas inc and www.theneurotypical.com have been working for years to have this difficult topic investigated truthfully.

There is research being done at Bond University by Dr Lisa Abel, on the extreme difficulties of these relationships.

Most support groups suggest coping behaviours which contribute to further stress and depression for the neurotypical. This is borne out by recent research.

A memoir by Judith Newton tells of these difficulties. It is the first and only truthful narrative about marriage between NT/AS.

Called "No Team Player" it accurately describes the lack of ability for an AS spouse to have a real relationship.

Once again, thank you! j

capaquarian said...

I can't tell when any of these comments were written so I'll at least tag the date on mine for some reference.
Monday, July 16th, 2012

First let me say that I identify with all of the women here. I wish I had found this site a few years ago.

Secondly, to the haters: I don't think any of the women here hat AS men (though perhaps their individual ones). I once had a conversation with my couples counselor (who did not diagnose my guy as AS but did say he was stuck at age 10) and I tried to explain my feelings of abuse. The mental abuse that was dumped on me. The lack of accountability by my guy. While she didn't say I wasn't abused, she did however say "HE DIDN'T DO IT INTENTIONALLY"! While that might be the truth, the reality was that I was looking for clarity from the crazy land I lived in with this guy and that hoisted guilt upon me.

There was one post by the famous anonymous (Ladies please come out of the woodwork :-)
which wrote that there are thousands of shades of AS. That is true, I don't think the women on here are talking about the obvious lower functioning men which would have been noticeable before evolving serious relationships with!

I found out a few weeks ago during a session to interview a therapist for my guys teenage son. The son has obvious AS traits, the tics, loud noise issues, tags on his clothing. During this session the boys mother was also there and when the dad interrupted and took the conversation hostage, then went on a tangent about himself… Both the boys mother and myself agreed on this behavior as really inappropriate (as you can imagine her and I don't agree on much). Shortly after this and a few other quips from the boys mother and myself about my guy, the therapist slipped me a handout. I read on the heading "Asperger Marriage: Viewing Partnerships thru a Different Lens" and shoved it under a notepad on my lap so as my guy would not see it and lose his focus on why we were there (for his son). I found it a couple of weeks later and my mouth fell open.

capaquarian said...

part 2
I had already determined that he was a narcissist (also saw another post here about another combination). I had previously brought up that observation to our counselor who did not agree, she thinks that he's a "people pleaser".
The counselor based her assertion that he was a "People Pleaser" entirely based upon two things, 1. he didn't ague back with the ex, even when she kidnapped their son a couple of years ago. 2. She bought his victim crap about me. He'd go into our counseling sessions occasionally alone and would spin a long list of lies. Half truths at best.
He also did this with his entire family of six siblings… who now as you can imagine don't think much of me. This was all done so to detract from the fact that he doesn't make sound financial decisions, nor manage any semblance of a budget (which I've had to force him to relinquish so as we don't live in a box).

Well, one Sunday about a year my 12 year old dog died (who had lived with my guy for 6 years) My guy had to go into work for a couple of hours… but then, he went to a party! I pleaded with him on the phone in tears to come home after work so we could go down to the river where we'd take the dog to play and mourn him. He eventually tired of my pleading, turned off his phone. I chain called his cell and then I get a text that he will call me on his way home from the part, he's with the guys grilling and eating steak wellington!" I tried calling again and he turned off his phone again. When he finally came home near dark time, I came out to the car with my best friend (a guy) on the phone and we tried to talk sense into him about how horrible that decision was. He blurted out, "I've never been invited to a party with these guys before" as if that's a reasonable excuse.. I replied "Well my dog only dies ONCE". He then (out of excuses) blurts out that his dad died exactly four months prior!. THIS IS WHAT TO EXPECT PEOPLE! This is the extent of the lack of empathy most of high functioning AS people are capable of!

On the surface he ran a weekly poetry group in town for almost 8 years. Poetry was his core thought, his core importance. Making every poetry competition and reading by other poets. I put up with this and supported for nearly SIX YEARS. Finally our couples counselor managed to pound into his head that he needed to take care of life's core issues, keeping up the house, keeping his job (his tardiness would have gotten him fired at any other job at least 800 times in the Seven years i've been with him) and to wean off of the poetry and camping things with his son's boy scout troop.

I've lost most of my friendships as it was hard to talk without my craziness shining through constantly venting about how crazy things were with him. His lies, his complete lack of being responsible. Only one friend stood through it all and that was because he was close enough to see the insanity my guy created. He tried talking to him only to get the glazed look. He dubbed it groundhog day every day with him. You can talk to him until you're blue in the face about how his actions cause us harm and he will eventually (only now after also getting a counselor who wasn't there to ask "how did this make you feel?") see your point. He might say "I see your point", but then the next day he's back to doing the same crap that causes chaos in our lives.

capaquarian said...

part 3
Between the denial that his family has joked (not jokingly) that he is identifiable with, and the extreme lack of empathy I experienced the day my dog died along with thousands of other times including when I miscarried a few months after moving in with this guy… I don't expect much from life with this guy.
While I realize my expectations are to have a reciprocal relationship and I do actually understand most guys don't have the same capacity to be tuned in as women have, but still… this is not a life.

The two traits that I've learned from looking into narcissism and this is that there is little to work with, little to improve. Especially if your guy wasn't diagnosed early in life and ESPECIALLY if his mother didn't challenge him to be more and not coddle him!

I have quipped for a few years that my guys needs a conservatorship (like Britney Spears family has over her life). I'd bet many of these AS men, even high functioning ones as they are really can't manage to function in a way that doesn't leave us venerable and stressed about living in a box.

I sincerely feel for the disabled poster (another anonymous). I did find out that depression can be a disability under Social Security guidelines, and there are HUD housing for seniors and disabled. Perhaps that can also help you. Unfortunately I haven't found anything that supports Emotional Abuse, which I think is just as horrible as physical abuse. We need more services! We didn't get into these relationships with full disclosure! The chaos and the abuse we have suffered have ruined most of the lives of the women who have posted here. I have yet to find anything more for financial support (in terms of escaping) these doomed relationships. And YES, I do believe that if you entered into a relationship with an AS man without knowing he was AS and you had the typical idea of reasonable healthy functioning responsible man… than it will be doomed. Get over his looks and his childish charm (remember he's also probably stuck at the equivalent of 10 years old).
I won't write anonymously as I hope to connect with more of you and exchange more supportive ideas.

capaquarian~

Anonymous said...

It's true, no passion ever. Rigid sex, and you become a human safety net for the Aspie partner. Doing everything, alone. If I had any idea them what I know now, I would not be in what feels like a trap with a spouse who is loving kind gentle intelligent but has never once told our 4 children he loves them without a prompt or reminder from me to do it. I had to "train" my spouse to reply to me when I tell him I love him. It's very stressful and lonely. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Just after 5 years it has finally dawned on me that he's an Aspie. He DOES have a cousin who is full on autistic & the father of that child is a strange bird. That's the only way I can describe him.Being kind there.

For me, it is the social stunted development. See, he was bullied as a child and he's still stuck there at about ten years old. He thinks everyone in social/public situations is looking at him, waiting for him to screw up before they pounce. I try to tell him that everyone is so busy worried about themselves that they don't care what we're doing but he just can't get it. He's always on eggshells worried that I may do something to bring attention to us. I'd be more understanding of his social anxiety and warped perceptions if he didn't try to inflict his beliefs onto me & monitor MY behavior. He's completely inept in social situations while I've worked as a popular bartender in the past & am usually correct in my perception in judging people & situations. I feel like a mother to a frightened, irrational child. Of course this doesn't bode well in the bedroom & has lessened my attraction to him. A woman wants a MAN, after all.

He has no innate sense of responsibility when it comes to keeping up on a house and I dread doing fix up project with him because it really shines the light on his unorganized thought processes and lack of common sense. I do feel alone, so alone in many senses in this relationship. There's that lack of connection w/him I've never experienced with anyone close before. My frustration has led to me saying some truly horrible things to him when I blow up. Because of this, my feelings are negated as he plays the hurt wounded, child. I realize I must carve out a totally separate life of my own b/c let's face it...I really am alone & on my own.

Anonymous said...

...they typically don't do their share of chores". This, taken from the article is one of the reasons I'm so tired and I laugh at the comment above about how one woman felt like she "went out and adopted a special needs child". You have to at least laugh at that description.

He goes about in his little secret life online completely oblivious to the house and property upkeep. Then, if things get so bad he can't miss them he questions ME on how things got so bad. He uses the fact that his name isn't on the deed as an excuse. But he's really a lazy guy from a lazy family in this regard. If it wasn't for me keeping up after the both of us, he'd be fine wallowing in filth. I've seen how he's lived before we moved in together. He's a great guy concerning financial support, though. Probably another excuse he tells himself for not doing his share around the household.

Rachel said...

I first found out about asperger when my son was diagnosed with it several years ago. It helped me realize that both my husband and I also have it. We both carry on with our own things and each need our time alone. I know his heart and that is all that matters to me. Our behavioral issues are opposing. He gets angry and I get sad. I think we are yin and yang. I have learned to accept him as he is as he needs to except me as I am. There will never be more loyal people than us as long as we realize that no one is perfect. I wouldn't stop loving my son just because he has a disorder. So why should we discriminate against anyone else. It just makes me think back to all the times my parents didn't understand what he was saying and things were taken the wrong way. We just don't have the language to express things right. Don't run away from someone with asperger. Be compassionate!

Anonymous said...

I am utterly in shock of how much I relate to ALL of your posts. It is frightening yet liberating.

My son was diagnosed Tuesday with aspergers. I knew it was coming. I am ready to help him, and am in full acceptance of what I need to do to make sure he does not end up like his father. I'm excited to get started.

But, what I didn't do until Tuesday night was google "I was married to a man with aspergers". To read the perspective of the spouse. to learn that even tho I knew in my heart I did whatever I could to make my marriage work. I did not fail. It was doomed from the start.

I feel sad. That all these years, I thought I was unloveable, stupid, unworthy, mediocre.

Dating again, I am having a hard time, because I can not recognize love. The honest attention and affection I am receiving from my boyfriend puzzle me. I am afraid I am reading too much into it. Is it normal? Does he love me? Am I falling in love? What is love. It is hard to know, after being married to an aspie...

This is my recent struggle.

Anonymous said...

I'm back. Trying to join that Yahoo group...You know what I can't stand? That need of theirs to do everything by the book or how they falsely perceive society's rules. It's so frustrating because they're hypervigilant about things that are petty, small even. I suspect most were bullied as children and are paranoid about bringing attention to themselves. I can roll with that weird quirk until you start riding me and ask me to go along with your warped perceptions. Please, I'm putting up with a lot of your abnormalities as it is, don't push it.

Anonymous said...

I am an educated, woman , who has been married to my husband for 17 years. Our daughter was diagnosed ASD when she was 4 1/2. Needless to say, I now see my husband is undiagnosed Asperbers. His mother just left, she is so Aspbergers, odd, eccentric, awkward, rambles. Funny thing is, my husband looks successful, he holds a great job, I love him,and my background, I just wanted to love and please him. I see so many signs now, that I cry at the 17 years I have spent feeling lonely, for the most part. But, I come from a single mother who just sucked it up and took care of us. I learned to put my needs aside. I don't know how this is going to turn out -- to be the Buddha and keep taking care of him and keep dying inside, but what does this say about me and loving myself? Reading all of these comments makes me realize I am not alone. It was never raining on me alone. I have given up years to raise our 3 children, I left a big job and it has been beautiful, but from a wife's perspective, so lonely and alone. He could go years without sex, if I let him. I am sexy, big boobs, creative in bed, the whole works. For what? I have to make all the moves. I have made the choice to stay, through all the loneliness, because I didn't know better, now I hope I find, at 46, the courage to know that I can do anything. Maybe my purpose was to coach him this far. And now, I go. I have prayed Dear G-d, please do not let me die a woman not truly adored and loved. I want to turn all the ange, lonliness and sadness into something good, to have made it all worth it. I would NEVER want my son or daughter to feel the loneliness I feel. G-d bless all of you heroes and I hope you can find something to remember that was good......

Anonymous said...

Oooooh, this website has helped me so much! I have been married (without the ceremony) and living with an AS and never realized it. I went from a highly functioning happy individual and felt like a live vibrant tree slowly day by day having my limbs sheered off until there is not much left. Our life has reduced down to what he can tolerate, a complete lack of interest of interacting with the outside world except for him with music, which he has kept me completlely isolated from. I see now that my life has been sacrificed in order to make his life sustainable. I really just didn't get it. I know he loves me and is a great guy. That he has deep feelings and the promise was always there that he would be more responsive.
Thank you ladies for your brave courage to say it like it really is and to not fall into the trap of the therapist trying to remedy the situation by placing demands on the "functionally accessible one" in the relationship.
This is very upsetting and relieving.

Anonymous said...

I suspect my wife might have aspergers. I've been trying to connect and build a healthy relationship through councelling. Any advice on how to approach getting a diagnosis?

Anonymous said...

Well fucking said!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm in the same situation as u. He has ruin my business and my life.

Anonymous said...

I've been with my boyfriend who has aspergers for a couple of years now & everything written in this is completely true! I'm at a point where I don't know if I can take it anymore. I love him so much when his aspergers isn't really bad, but when it's bad it's bad. I feel like my needs aren't being met. I'm torn.

Anonymous said...


I have recently realised that my partner of 4 years is Aspergers he is 50, I am exhausted low and depressed from all the problems we have had but now relieved that I am not mad, and am facing the next step, but not sure what it is. This blog has been helpful thank you

Anonymous said...

Those diagnosing others with AS should check themselves for OCPD

Anonymous said...

its not a comment from a non feeling individual it is simply a view point. I am married to an AS sufferer and a able to deal with it emotionally and physically but I had to make the hard decision of if I would be strong enough to stay in the marriage. I can understand how some people would not be able to do it and it would be better for both sides to walk away. Chances are they would remain friends.

Anonymous said...

Ive been married to my as husband for 12 years.He seems much worse the past 2 years .He treats me very badly (emotionally) .He will not admit that he has AS although he went for cognitive behavoral therapy 8 years ago and it helped.Im ranting ...laying in bed on my own again trying to find out what other people do.I dread holidays with him.dread any time with him and Im beginning to hate him.I invite (my friends) our friends over for dinner and he makes all feel uncomfortable.He cant make conversation or eye contact with anyone.god only knows whatever show he put on to trap me into this awful loveless,sexless.conversationless marriage.We have a 10 year old son and I have two grown up sons from a previous marriage.I wish I could find the strenght to leave him.

Anonymous said...

So understand your feeling of exhaustion. I am married to a man who has diagnosed aspires and is extremely difficult to live with. Yes he holds down a job and keeps it all in at work but when he walks in chevron door my four children and i all wear it. The most difficult thing i have had to endure is married life with someone who only worries about himself and doesn't even really know me or his children. I am by far the main car giver and feel i have raised the kids on my own.

Anonymous said...

My AS husband and I have been married for 26 hard years. We only recently learned about AS and it is the first time that any of our patterns and issues have made sense. I react differently now - used to think he was simply selfish, unloving, or mean-spirited. Now I recognize his acts of love for what they are and have stopped looking for typical loving acts. Our next step is to understand which areas he needs to leave to my leadership because he cannot assess them accurately. We are committed "til death do us part", have four fantastic children 18-24, and have a great companionship. It's not the romance I always dreamed of, but it is a commitment I made before God. I'm not going to bust up our family because dad hasn't/can't meet all my needs. It can be done is worth keeping the family together. Take heart. Stay in the marriage. Would you want to be dropped if you found out you have AS? He cannot change - so my expectations are changing.

Anonymous said...

Re MICHELLE 8.24am - I know exactly how you feel! It has only been 3 years for me but I am at the end of my tether right now and want to scream "What about me?" sometimes! Am trying to find some kind of support from someone in the same position as me, have you been able to find anything? Donna

Anonymous said...

To all the women who have posted, you are not alone. I admire all of you who have sacrificed day after day with grief, frustration, hurt, anger, loss and depression. I, too was dying inside. I didn't want to live. After many, many years, I have decided to have a life of my own, my own friends, my own travel, my own career. I am no longer the "human vending machine." Absolutely no regrets for my decision.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is WOW. Thankyou to all the comments out there I AM NOT ALONE!!YIPEE. My psychologist suggested that I might be married to an AS after sucicial thoughts and being in a dark dark place. didnt believe them until I did an online test after some research and read this intro. OMG. he scored 41 (me 15) the borderline on this test was 21-30). No wonder I feel like I do. I am going to print the intro off and leave it out for him to read- maybe then we might be able to move forward with some counselling as at the oment it is my fault!!(

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the article Karin. Finally someone who understands! And I agree with you. Being married to an Aspie isn't necessarily a curse, but it definitely requires some serious consideration BEFORE committing to the lifelong vow (for those who believe in that, at least as long as they can hold). And in my case, I had to blackmail my husband to get a diagnosis as our lives had become a real nightmare due to the myriads of arguments and misunderstanding and miscommunications we were having. It is a fact that my spouse will NEVER be able to meet my emotional needs. And coming to terms with that equates to mourning a husband I thought I had and will never see again. My husband has developed an incredibly attractive persona in public, but it takes so much out of him to keep up with the appearances that he strips to the bare essentials of his true personality at home... And agreeing to the fact that your other half will never meet your emotional needs, that is an enormous sacrifice to make. We're talking about a life time of feeling lonely and not exactly loved either in your marriage. Sure, there are ways to get some of those needs met. Connect with a passion in your life, get a hobby, lots of friends, and be independent. Although I have to admit that on my side, my husband feels very threatened by my sense of independence. I believe it's due to the fact that he has based his understanding of our marriage on the fact that I fill up his various needs. And by me being independent, I take care of my own needs, and I am set up to live with or without out him basically, which doesn't do much for his sense of security. We've been together for 7 years. 1 was good enough, and the rest was downhill. Our son is an Asperkid too. And his therapies work! As long as I make sure his dad doesn't ruin all of the team's work. I keep explaining to my husband that there is nothing wrong with him, but it's a matter of compatibility with the rest of Society. I feel the same about my son, and I do what I can to prepare him to face the challenges of living in a neurotypical world.
So to people considering marriage to an Aspie, imagine spending the rest of your life with a good friend, even a confident for those lucky enough to receive some consideration. But that's it. No intimacy the way a neurotypical person thinks about it, no special connection that goes beyond word because you have to spell it all out for them, respect, consideration, privacy, all those values that in the end are very subjective, you will never be able to enjoy them in your marriage.

Aspergers isn't a curse, it's a lifelong job in the life of a neurotypical person.

Anonymous said...

I lost my hair, I lost my home, my friends, family, health, career.

What is fair abou it? Watching my kids cope with a man who never considers anyone but himself.

At what point do you put my kids first and forget about ANY of my needs.

For 15 years I have been mother and father. My kids cannot communicate with their father. The older they get the problems become worse.

I would have stayed and worked it out, so I thought, but by the end of the last two years and suffetring a nervous breakdown I could not do it. I wanted to chose my life.

Why is it our duty to stay and be serially abused.

This man has gone out of his way to prohibit his son from being tested for Asperger.

His family has the nerve to be angry with me for bringing asperger out within the family. There are so many people in his family that have asperger but they are in denial.

Anonymous said...

I have been with my husband for 26 yrs. Raised 2 boys, ran the household , have taking on all the financial responsibilties of home loans car loans, everything.I home schooled my boys and have been severely emotionally and verbally abused by my husband who has both adhd and aspergers. He's selfush, rude, he throws tantrums like a 4 yr. Old to get his way, he's deceitful, and manipualitive to make sure he gets his way, he takes forever to get his task done and he iignires me and never talks to me. He's only nice when he's trying to get what he wants, ( sex) and when he doesn't get his way, he gets loud and. He says horrible things about me, with no understanding of really what he just said, he's never sorry, because he's never to blame, and I feel like I'm raising a 3 rd child that will never grow up, and I never know what mood he will be in, he's either really happy, joking all the time, it angry and ranting and pacing around the house, yelling horrible mean things out loud about me. I been dealing with this for a very long time, and I am worn out, sad, lonely, alittle bitter, and i feel I'm losing my self through all of this and I just don't have any strenght left to fight, and he denies that anything is wrong and won't seek help. I'm sorry that he has this, but it doesn't give anyone the right to severely abuse their partner because of it. Help!

Anonymous said...

What a relief to read this article and all these comments. I am 68 years old and have been married 31 years to my husband, whom I am sure would be diagnosed asberger's, but he is too defensive to broach this. We've spent over $2000 in the past year on sex therapy and couples therapy because i refuse to watch explicit sex videos with him!!! I am not a prude, but He refuses to hear or consider my perspective. For years i have wanted affection, give and take, an adult relationship and a chance to talk about feelings or work thru issues. But none of that has ever registered and he says he's ready to walk away from the marriage because i am denying him his sublime sexual satisfaction--not watching sex videos. This is my second marriage and i don't want to go thru another divorce, but am rethinking. i make all the decisions, handle the bulk of the chores, but don't do his laundry anymore. The truth us, he is passive and very dependent and I will probably have to make the move. Now I sleep in the guest room and celebrated my 68th birthday last night with a girlfriend. I am the one who initiates sex. Although he says he can't stand my prudish attitude, is turned off he stills responds, which is confusing. Writing this has allowed me to see how very dysfunctional our relationship is. 5.22.13

Anonymous said...

I am in Kent too! I have only been married to my husband for almost two years. He has not been diagnosed as Aspie but I am almost certain that my husband has aspergers as I can relate to what people have written on this site. I sensed he was a bit perculiar even when I first met him. He is very intelligent but does not know how to love me and has trouble with eye contact, talks about work and shopping lists sll day long, continously downloads war books even though has more than 1000 , has OCD, hoards newspapers and leaflets, wont do anything different, literally been working 7 days a week since our wedding day. He is hard work, very tiring but at same time lovable.Would you like to meet up for tea? Zena.8@hotmail.co.uk

Anonymous said...

it was such a relief to hear other's experiences. I work as a counsellor and have a degree in psychology but have missed some obvious and terribly painful and isolating patterns. The things that attracted me to my partner of 23 years were his high intelligence and his childlike way of seeing things. He teachers IT and has two masters degrees. Over the last 10 years after our children left I became more aware of things i had noticed before but been ok with. The behaviours have slowly worn me down all seem to have to do with his inability to read or express care or emotional warmth. He has often stood away from me and lectured me, become angry or ignored me. When someone with reasonable emotional intelligence would respond differently. I didnt realise I was working so hard to make the relationship work, smoothing things over, apologising, taking responsibiity, until 2 years ago I stopped out of sheer exhaustion and lonliness. He behaves in a friendly way when we are out, but if we have people over he will often get bored and go sit at his computer or just leave a conversation. He is an extreme introvert, and apart from his children has no friends. He has aquaintances at work, but does not invest in any. He is not violent towards me but has become verbally abusive and argumentative with complete strangers in public if they do something to offend him, and he will continue till they back down. He can get very angry quickly. He has often told me that he doesn't understand emotions. I have had to handle most of our kids issues alone as he has no tolerance for difficult or complex situations. He has handed me the phone before in the middle of a conversation with one of his children because it become difficult. He is highly defensive if I try to discuss any of his behaviours with him. Its as if he cant read whats going on for people emotionally. I think he does what he thinks he should do much of the time, or what he thinks is the 'right' thing. He is a good person however I cannot relate closely to him, and I have no sense of emotional safety with him. I feel like I may as well be living with my accountant. This man never enquires or reassures. We have seen counsellors but this had no positive result. When we discussed what I may need to connect with him, he said why would I behave in a way thats 'not me'. So his logic wins out every time and he has taught me that his logic is far more important to him than my feelings or welfare. I have been reading about Aspergers due to my job and working with students who are on the spectrum and have been attending workshops for the same reason. I am astounded at how classic his behaviours are. This has made me feel a bit less crazy. But as i was saying to a friend, if you think the journey of living with someone who may have aspergers is lonely, just try thinking of leaving, and see how little support or understanding you get from anyone. I don't even bother trying to explain to people. Many counsellors are not aware of this condition or what it is like to live with or how soul destroying it is. I long for warmth, empathy and care, and have begun to accept I will not get this in this relationship. It is a tremendous and lonely place of loss. Reading this blog has helped me immensely not to feel so alone. Thank you to all the contributions and encouragement. I am leaving the relationship. It has taken me two years to leave and try to shed the guilt i feel in not being loyal to my own values. It will sound dramatic, but those of you in the same position will understand, if I stay i may as well be in prison. I too get tired of all those people saying how interesting, gifted, talented, and special people with aspergers are. I'm sure they are in many situations. However it simply does not work if you want an intimate warm relationship. I respect other women out there who have laid it on the line, you have given me courage and empathy. And perhaps have saved my sanity. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I had my lightbulb moment reading these blogs. After 10 years with an emotionally crippled man who ignores me, snaps my face off and makes endless lists of things for him to do. He does nothing around the house, is a non-existent father to the kids, fusses over the smallest details. He is incapable of looking after himself, is untidy around the house yes meticulous in his own personal belongings, no one gets to touch them. He is embarrassing socially and I live my own, very lonely, life with him dictating the way things should be done. He has the cheek to show me some interest when he wants sex, wham, bam. He ignores his ageing parents and I have to do all the interaction with the children and granny and grandpa 1000 miles away. I am exhausted, drained and very very angry. I thought he was selfish, rude, ignorant, antisocial, child like and demanding.....I still do! lol! But know he has aspergers and probably ADHD and definitely OCD. Would I have married him if I'd had a glimpse into the future....I have two lovely children...he's become like the rotten apple in the fruit bowl. If you meet someone with problems before you marry them....run like the friggin clapper....there's plenty more out there. Put him back on the shelf and get an undamaged one.

Anonymous said...

I hear you. I have been here for 27years. I'm also disabled so dependant upon my as partner. It's frightening, lonely and soul destroying. Others outside the relationship not only disbelieve me but see my partner being an angel of mercy for caring for me. My soul feels trapped in an airless coffin. I dread every single day. Get out of your house as much as you can and hold on to your independence with all your mite. I genuinely feel for you.

Hunter Blake Lowery said...

My name is Hunter Blake Lowery. I am a man with Asperger's Syndrome. You have all crushed any faith I had at procuring a relationship in my life. I feel, I love, I appreciate. I however, do not express emotion very well or in a consistent manner. There is a distinct difference. I find it comical that you all blame your husbands (even after knowing he has AS) for your relationship issues. You all relish in your blind ignorance and scape-goat your failure to maintain a relationship to a disorder. You have thoroughly researched books and studies which plainly describe our thought processes and personalities at your disposal. None of you seem to take advantage of the fact, or simply don't care enough. I've lived my entire life ostracized from social groups due to my eccentricities and interests.
I've never loved a woman, I've never been loved. I just haven't had that opportunity. I envy how you all talk of your relationships and marriages as if they're a dime a dozen. I'm not stupid, my words may be muddled and sound incoherent at times, but I assure you I'm intelligent. I know I'm attractive. I know I can financially support a family. I know I can love. I know I can love unconditionally. In my wildest of dreams I hope one day to perhaps come across a woman who breaks this mold and disregards the stigma associated with me and instead looks at my soul before my discrepancies. All of your words have demoralized me quite efficiently and left me to question whether I even want to actively pursue love. I apologize on behalf any offenses those on the spectrum did to you all but please don't spread such senseless hate, it actually hurts.

Anonymous said...

I am married to an Aspie. I've been to hell and back. We are about to celebrate 30 years together, with only the last few having any semblence of normality.

Basically, I took on the role of therapist at age 23, not knowing what was happening. I've stayed because I thought it would get better. Finally, 13 years ago after seeing an episode with Dr. Phil that said "you teach people how to treat you", when he'd become argumentative about EVERYTHING--which was his main problem--and come home from work after not being able to deal with the social situations and take it out on me, I laid down the law and said to him: "I AM NOT YOUR EMOTIONAL PUNCHING BAG! YOU ARE NOT GOING TO TREAT ME LIKE THIS OR I'M LEAVING!" It took awhile--a good 6 months-- but he figured out that he needed to handle his "frustration" in other ways. Our relationship improved about 50%. He had other issues, such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which also played into his problems. He still has a hard time coping on a daily basis with things. I am his entire support and I love him, so I do what I can. It's hard. Sometimes still very hard. I wonder how our golden years will be. He doesn't handle sickness well at all.

If I could give any other advice, I'd say to all of the NT spouses, seek help for the Aspie from someone who specializes in AS. A behaviorial therapist is what is needed more than a mental health therapist. This is where some people go wrong. If things don't improve significantly, GET OUT!! Save yourself. You only have one life. Don't waste it away like I have. I can't go back, but you stand a chance. Then get counseling for yourself. Living with someone like this is just like living with an abuser.

Also, for God's sake, PLEASE don't have kids. I can't believe all the spouses married to these men with kids!! WHY??? You want to pass this gene on? And if your kids do get it, get help/training early on for them. It can make ALL the difference.

P.S. I spent many years walking on eggshells. Serious eggshells. It's not way to live. I say, stand up for yourself, tell them what you're willing to put up with and what you're not. (Choose your battles carefully, because there are alot, right?) They ARE capable of changing in many instances, but you have to insist.

Bless you all.

Anonymous said...

Karin - You are 100% correct and you took the words RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH!
It's as if you have lived my life - it is exactly how I feel/tin/experience. THANK YOU FOR PUTTING IT INTO WORDS...
Unless you have lived this life - you really have no room to comment. We NT's living this life have gone through the cycles of thinking "if I just accept him enough, If I just love hime enough" - sometimes it's just not enough and will never be. You can only neat your head up against a wall for so long....

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog and all the comments. I have only recently had confirmation and understanding that what I have been in and trying to deal with is being married to an Asperger man for 15 years- now divorced. I believed for a long time that he was a narcissist and now know him to be Asperger. It has been a roller coaster life and I have been in his bubble and always trying to understand but only left broken, shattered, lonely with no reciprocation. Walked on eggshells lost friends, job and no financial independence. Trying to get out of this hell with some money, but doesn't look good. I agree with some of the posts that they can't help it, as we are dealing with a damaged brain- it is a mental thing- not psychological and that cannot change and they will never change. Some may choose to stay and live with it , but I know only too well what that has done to me and my self worth and self esteem. It isn't ok to 'carry' another person with nothing in return. They cannot understand anyone's inner world and so never meet you on the most fundamental human need . No ability to empathise, yet can be romantic sweet and gifting you and give candle light dinners etc, but never ever support your emotional needs on any level. I cannot live such a life anymore, so I am walking out. Not easy as he lies, forgets and feels he is the one that deserves any money and should have none. They are very egotistical and selfish when it comes down to it, of course they can't help it!!!

Anonymous said...

to the person that wrote the one with all the swearing in it, it was a funny thing for me ot read as it was almost like I had written it, I can compltely empathise with your immense feeling of frustration becasue that's what it is. WHich then leads to you feeling anxious and like you;re a bad person a non existant person. I'm so thankfull that after 2 years of thinking I was going mad, I finally came accross the AfDD. As soon as I read that other partners of aspergers, or I would imagine undiagnosed aspergers partners, had exactly the same sympotms it was like a veil had been lifted like the light had been switcehd on like a hallelujah moment. AS rude as this may sound I will never go back to my aspergers partner ever, life is too short to spend it in a situation that is destructive to your self esteem.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how all you people would feel if you have this rotten condition yourself: cheated out of Disability Benefits, cheated out of employment situations because of the discrimination against Asperger's Syndrome, blamed for everything that goes wrong, trying to make good in a world where people want to rob you for all you've got and not being able to realise when these situations arise, trying to build a survival instinct up when your own brain doesn't have a decent ability to survive and do the ordinary activities of life and feeling utterly inhuman as a result. There are far worse fates for individuals, undoubtedly, but on top of this shit I then have to read post after post such as this blog, basically stating how people with Asperger's are the offspring of Satan and should be chastised and treated like a pariah from the get go. If there was any justice in this world, all of you people would end up being a minority in the same way in another world.

Anonymous said...

I am a young woman with ASD, and after reading all of these comments am terrified to enter a relationship with someone knowing that they could end up feeling the way so many of you do. I see in myself so many of the qualities listed. I am a dependent person who can become very engrossed in myself, mainly due to my insecurities and fears, and often have a hard time seeing and understanding how other people feel without being told plainly.
I have years of work ahead of me before I could even begin to think of sharing myself with another person.

I always imagined working myself out as best I could, and being responsible and reliable on my own at first. If I can be responsible and good to myself, maybe I can for someone else. I imagine I would give as much as I could for someone I loved. But after reading of all the pain ad loneliness so many of you have felt from your AS partners I just don't know...

Anonymous said...

Married to Aspie for 15 years, set course for divorce 3 years ago, cancelled it, tried working through our issues, but now finally realizing we're making each other too unhappy.

To all Aspie's who have previously commented on the harsh words used by spouses to describe their Aspie-partners: believe me, these women would not have stuck it out for years and years if they did not care about Aspies. They do care. Too much, actually, which is why they bent over backwards to make the relationship work. Yes, these women do care. But they are not therapists, nor should they be required to be.

My advice to everyone - Aspies and non-Aspies - is to date and marry within your 'own culture'. Choose a partner with the same 'affliction' as your own - be this neurotypical or aspie. It's the mixed marriages that require uberstrength to survive.

Anonymous said...

Very illuminating, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable....Can't tell anyone what to think or do when trying to "fix" living with an aspie. I know after one year of a living hell...I am outa here. Thanks to all for your insights. I don't want 10-20-30 years of banging my head against a wall. Thanks again...I will get a dog and live a lot happier ever after.