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Getting Out Is Just The Beginning!

I did not suspect I was codependent. My partner did not abuse any substances, unless you count coffee. I did not know why I was so angry all the time. I did not know why I had built such animosity towards him. Sixteen years ago it began to build. I kept thinking my husband had ADD and did not do things to me on purpose. I made excuses when he forgot my birthday..several years in a row..when he did not help with the farm...for 13 years...when he was nasty to everyone who came onto the property....and they stopped coming...when he had no friends to speak of...when he could not remember anything we spoke about...when I could not express my feelings...when all he cared about was forcing me to have sex with him...when he displayed pattern behaviours...when he refused to go to counselling...when he wouldn't get his ears checked...when he broke everything he touched. I stopped sharing a room with him 12 years ago.  Then I suspected that he had brain damage. Now I am 100% sure that I have been living with someone with Asperger's Syndrome. He had communication problems, social problems, pattern behaviours and obsessions. He was incompetent at everything except his obsessions. I became codependent because there was no other way to live with him. I fell for years...into an abyss of emotionless hell. I couldn't enjoy the things that I knew I loved. But I kept them up anyway. I had to single parent the kids, but I had a second one anyway. I had to run the farm myself, but I took horse boarders in anyway, I had to run my dog breeding business alone, but I kept 6-8 dogs anyway. I knew that I loved my animals, I knew that I loved my kids. I knew that I loved drawing and painting, nature, horse back riding, showing dogs and raising puppies, teaching......but I got no enjoyment from these things. I was screaming inside my head all the time. And I continued to work full time.
Last November, I informed him that I had enough. I had stayed because I grieved the loss of the farm and the lifestyle. I had stayed because I thought it was best for the kids.....after all he wasn't violent, he didn't swear, he didn't drink or abuse drugs, he had a good job. I didn't know how much our non positive emotions would hurt the kids...and myself. I knew I was unhappy for a long time... I knew I needed to leave for a long time. I told him we needed to sell the farm and try to be happy separate. Again, there was no emotion, no argument. then, day after day, he tried to convince me to keep things as they were. I exploded! I told him there was nothing redeeming about him. I told him I hated him more than I had ever hated anyone in my entire life.  I shrieked that nothing could make me stay. I had wanted out for a long time, and  I was getting out.
I thought things were bad before, but he found ways to make them worse. Much worse. I thought I couldn't possibly hate him more than I already did. I was wrong. I thought there was nothing more he could do to me. I was wrong. I thought he would be able to put the kids first. I was wrong. I thought the police could help. I was wrong. I thought the C.A.S. could help. Again wrong. I thought the lawyer would help buffer me from him..again wrong. People with Aspergers are not guided by those subtle social rules that everyone else automatically picks up. He is arrogant and egotistical. He thinks he is smarter and better than everyone else. He thinks he is above the law, and all documents. There is no amount of paperwork, money, law or talk that will protect me from his abusive nature. I have left. I have sold the farm. I have moved a house, barn, drive shed and storage unit by myself. I have bought my own house for the first time in my life. I do not feel safe. I cannot protect my 4 year old from him. I can not remove my 15 year old from his control. I cannot count on a system to do what is right, or to protect my rights. All I can do is try to heal myself and minimize the impact he can have on my life. I pray for him everyday. I pray he has a heart attack. I pray that a Mac truck runs him over, I pray that lightening strikes him. You get the picture. I cannot forgive him for everything he has done and continues to do. I cannot find it in my heart. I am as anti-sexual as a person can possibly be. I want to be man-free for the rest of my life. I cannot truly find peace with myself. I am tired of anxiety attacks. I thank God for my good friends. They are saints.
instar instar 41-45 3 Responses Jul 12, 2010

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It has been over three years now since I left. I did therapy with both my daughter and myself, and I found friends who knew who I used to be, so the road back was not so long. Court went on for three years, and my x did a lot of emotional damage to the kids. My son has not spoken to me for almost two years, my daughter is starting to recover since the court papers now state clearly that she lives with me and it wont be changing. Young children are left with their mothers usually, although there seems to be some push to have equal access between parents. My four year old is now seven and she is better able to handle the situation.
I am now in a relationship that is the way I had imagined it should be. I used to tear up if he just took out recycling without me asking because I didnt have help, even in the smallest way, for so long, it overwhelmed me.
There is a good book I read, a self therapy one, that talks about looking at situations differently, because it is your interpretation that has the emotions attached to it, not the situation. It was a hard lesson to learn.
i would like to tell you everything will be alright, but I knkow it will be a long road. Men who suffer from aspergers dont think like other people and feel entitlement. They dont understand how what they say and do can affect others because of their social incompetencies. They will keep pounding the same point home, even when it has been explained to them, previously resolved, or has changed completely, because they don't remember or accept the change.
My x is finding it difficult to find someone new, he thought it would be easy. He is resentful that I am happy in my new relationship, and much better off than I was before.
The first step to healing is getting out. You need a support system because he will want to punish you for leaving. My ex didnt think there was anything wrong with our relationship, which just supports how shallow his perceptions of relationships was. A broken relationship will hurt your kids. They cannot imagine what a healthy relationship between parents is, they can only see what they see. They will repeat what they see because it is normal for them. The best thing you can do for them, is model an emotionally healthy relationship, but you need to make yourself better to do that.
I know when I left, I never wanted another man in my life, I could only see the pain. The right person will support you emotionally and help you recover. If you are alone for the rest of your life, then he won.
If when you leave, you take the children, they will likely remain with you. If you have women's shelters in your area, they offer free counselling and will help you get set up again. They will also protect you from your spouse and help you find a lawyer. You will need a lawyer. If you get one before you leave, they will give you valuable legal advice about leaving. You will need to take all paperwork with you (tax returns, wills, mortgage information, etc.) Because you likely wont be able to go back and get it. Ideally, the man would leave so the kids aren't upset more, but in my experience, even if he does leave, he will feel he still controls everything because he has a key, he knows where you are, it puts him in a power position.
When you do come to move things out, have an officer there, it is a free service.

You can't live the rest of your life angry, and you do the kids no favors by continuing to suffer. It doesn't matter why he does or doesnt do the things he does, it matters how it id affecting you and your children.

Oh my god. I am the beginning of your story. I just started researching codependance and this popped up. My hubby has not been diagnosed. I have two boys. Everyday I rationalize, but when I am not around him I want out somehow. I feel trapped. I am afraid to lose my children. Any advice on how to heal, thanks

I might have some better advice on how to heal, but from a very different perspective from the original poster. I recommend trying to get a formal diagnosis, and if it turns out you husband is autistic (Asperger's is a form of autistic spectrum disorder), then read and learn as much as you can from books like "Asperger Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships" by Ashley Stanford. I am saying this as a woman with an ASD married to a wonderful "neurotypical" man. Aspies and Auties can form long-lasting loving relationships under the right circumstances. Your marriage may not last, you may decide the extra work of figuring it all out is not worth it to you. But you probably loved him once, so maybe it will be worth it. I like to think that I am worth it, and not a monster like the original poster makes people with my brain structure out to be, based on a single person that she diagnosed herself. Good luck.

Dear Instar, what a horrible story you have told. But you have made the move, you have grasped control again over your own life and in time those feelings of hate will dissipate. But you have been through a living hell and know that at least one person out here in the world is concerned for you. x