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Cassandra Syndrome

I was an emotional wreck when I met him, I was 25 and divorced with an 18 mo daughter. He represented the security I longed for. He was the strong  silent type, good-looking, the perfect husband. So what if he was a little cold and distant? I figured this was the price of security. Emotional guys are losers, right? I'd learned this the hard way. Before we married, I fell in love with his idea of what family life looked like: Loving, protective father, stay-at-home-mom, a few kids. I already wanted to be a sahm, so I felt fortunate to marry a guy who not only supported that dream, but shared it. So I made the biggest mistake of my life: I put complete trust in my spouse and quit my career.

The first couple of years were okay. I gave up my friendships and spent all my time trying to be Mrs. Cleaver. I kept house, catered to his every whim, and all was well. The problems started when our baby was six months old and couldn't sit up. That began several months of hell for me. I was told my sweet baby boy might never walk or talk. And to make matters worse, dh was completely unaffected. He didn't miss a minute of work for any of the many tests, doctor appointments, or therapy sessions our little boy needed. He didn't seem to care at all.

My little fantasy of our perfect family fell apart. This began years of rocky-marriage with constant fighting. I did most of the yelling and screaming and the only crying. He always seemed so calm and rational that before long, I believed him. I was the problem. He was normal, rational, and strong. I just needed to be more like him. We'd fight and I'd feel so worthless. I talked to my family about it, but even they didn't see the problem. Even they thought I was the one who needed to change. The stuff I complained about was dh just being a regular man. All men can be self-centered, all men get obsessed with games (or sports or whatever), all men have trouble communicating, all couples fight about money and sex and parenting and household chores. I just needed to accept him, this is what dh said and this is what everyone else said too.

So I tried. And to be honest, I did learn a lot of good stuff during those years. I learned to process my emotions and gain some control myself. We had another child, and I agreed to homeschool our kids rather than go back to work or school as I'd wanted. As dh was quick to show me, all the research shows homeschooling is best for the kids, and my sweet little boy couldn't function in a regular school setting. Both our kids have sensory processing disorder and we now know that ds has Asperger's. Dd might too but it's harder to tell with girls. I reached out to a local church community and have developed friendships and a spiritual life (alone of course, dh stays home to play video games). But these choices and improvements came at a great cost: my health.

Have you all heard of Cassandra Syndrome? It's worth Googling.

The stress of being married to him all those years with no one understanding what was going on made me sick, leading to Cassandra's Syndrome: depression, terrible self-esteem, and ultimately, physical disease. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis four years ago. I am partly disabled and couldn't go back to work now, even if I felt I could put my special-needs kids in the school system. I am completely and totally trapped. Stuck. Smothered. Miserable.

After ten years married to an Aspie who didn't know he was an Aspie, and after years of trying to explain to people why I was unhappy, telling people that dh isn't the super-great perfect guy everyone thinks he is, I left Tony Attwood's book in the bathroom. I was reading up on Asperger's for our son and was sure that dh had it too but he wouldn't listen to me about it. The ploy worked! Dh picked up the book, read it, and said, "Hey, I have Asperger's Syndrome." At first, I was thrilled. "Finally! He'll realize that everything is not my fault! He can learn about his disorder and we can make some progress!" I was so relieved. I have a degree in psychology and used to see myself as a very intuitive person who could solve any problem with communication. After a decade with my Aspie, I'd lost all confidence in my skill-set. Now I could regain my confidence, now I could be validated! I was also upset to be right because I knew that it meant dh would never be the loving, romantic, empathetic guy I wished for. But at that point I was desperate to be validated; I was ready to settle for just about any improvement.

That was two years ago and things are worse than ever. I've received no validation. The only significant change is that his behavior is more extreme, like he doesn't have to try anymore. The worst part is the tantrums. He admits he has Asperger's but can't see how it affects his day-to-day behavior. He's still as inflexible, obsessed, self-centered, self-righteous, and cold as ever (except when he's yelling and screaming during a meltdown, the only time I see any emotion from him). I've changed so much that I'm often the calm rational one now, which seems to only make him worse. It's like he doesn't hear me if I don't yell and I'm tired of yelling. Mostly, I'm just tired. I need my energy to take care of myself and my own disease, my kids and their special needs, and, if I have anything left, I've got a big house, a garden, and several pets to take care of. I just want him to go about his business and let me go about mine, but, when I least expect it, he flies off the handle and slams me right back into hell.

I'm glad to have found this group. I definitely need support, and I hope my story can help others from making the same mistakes I have.
magicbeet magicbeet 36-40, F 29 Responses Jul 14, 2011

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Omgoodness! I just read my life. Even homeschooling, garden and pets! I've been married 43yrs. My only regret is having Cassandra Syndrome which made me act out like I had Asperger's. Finally finding some sanity. Love to you dear.

I can so identify with feeling trapped. I love the honesty of your post. No, it's certainly a struggle. Despairing is a good way to describe my feelings. I have been married to an undiagnosed Aspie for 16 years. I have pondered the idea of leaving a million times. The emotional cruelty that he exhibits, yet is completely unaware of never ceases to astound me. Since there has to be something positive in all this I wish to say that I've become committed to putting pleasure into my life without eating, drinking or drugging. A new lover can't even fix this. What I think I need most is to find people in my life who understand. That is the greatest gift. My lonliness dissipates and I begin to feel whole again. There's nothing wrong with me except I'm injured.

Hello magicbeet. I hope you are still reading this thread. I would like to talk to you privately.

Well. Thank you magicbeet. I feel validated. At last! Thank you for your post!

Please don't give up! There is hope! I wrote this several years ago and have since discovered a way to make my marriage work. Better than that, we're both actually happy and can communicate successfully. This could happen for you too.

My Aspie kids bring me just as much joy as my NT dd. Sure, they have been more challenging at times, but in other ways, they're easier and bring me so much love.

Please don't despair. If you're willing to work - and all successful marriages take work - you can turn things around. For now, just take it one day at a time. You may be suffering from post partum depression, which makes everything seen worse. Get some professional help and then address your marriage problems. One step at a time!

I found your blog, and additional replies very encouraging. Thank you. I feel I am in a rather unique situation as in that I am the husband, and it is *I* that have aspergers. (Found this out maybe 12 months ago). Since then we've found out our only daughter (3yo) has it too.

In our marital situation we're struggling to find help for years, so learning this is helpful. We live in a remote area. Local councellors know nothing about aspergers. The only marriage councellor we've found worth their weight (that doesn't understand aspergers either) is a 4hr one way drive away - so things are going slow.

I'm beginning to understand that I'm partly disabled in some mental capacities and know that I need help. Unfortunately those closest to me (my parents / sibling) are in denial which makes it harder both for my condition and that of our daughers.

Unfortunately our pastor seems clueless about aspergers and I think I've been put in the 'too hard' basket. (Not his fault - you can only deal with what you've been equipped to deal with), but having many people know our marriage is struggling, and no one being game enough to even ask how we're going coz they don't have answers or know how to deal with us is hard.

So - here I am. I'm the aspy - willing to admit it and can't seem to find people around me that want (or are capable) of helping.

So I was wondering, would you be willing to share a few things / ideas from 'the other side' as to what you would suggest that I can do to try and help our marriage and my spouse please?

I'm sorry I'm so slow to respond. We're in the middle of moving and refurbishing a foreclosed house - non stop work! But you've been on my mind, and I'm carefully considering my response, which may be a couple of weeks away. I'm so thrilled you found my blog to be helpful, and I'll do everything I can to help you. Hang in there! In the meantime, listen carefully to your wife and try not to get defensive. I know you can see things from her point of view if you have calm time to do so. So please work on that and I'll have more suggestions later. Thanks for writing! You've helped me feel validated and very hopeful.

Good luck settling in your new house.

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I have never posted to a forum such as this. Things have gotten really bad for me. I am married to a man that I suspect has AS. We have a child who was recently tested and it was discovered that there is a social delay. My husband and I have been married for 3 years and things are up and down, but mostly bad. Today, I had my 4th panic attack. I never had them before marrying him. Today, I actually had thoughts that dying would be better than living here with him. I take my vows seriously, but I fear that I'm going to end up going crazy and not be able to take care of myself and my daughter, who is showing signs of AS. I want to run away from this marriage. A part of me feels like it wouldn't be right to leave him since he is going through something that's not his fault. However, it would be much better if he would actually recognize his problem and really make an effort to improve for our relationship. He's arrogant and has the emotional capacity of a 12 year old boy. I really feel like my life is over. I got married for all of the right reason and I feel stupid that I didn't see this coming. If anyone has any suggestions, I would really like to hear them.

Please don't give up! There is hope! I wrote this several years ago and have since discovered a way to make my marriage work. Better than that, we're both actually happy and can communicate successfully. This could happen for you too.
My Aspie kids bring me just as much joy as my NT dd. Sure, they have been more challenging at times, but in other ways, they're easier and bring me so much love.
Please don't despair. If you're willing to work - and all successful marriages take work - you can turn things around. For now, just take it one day at a time. You may be suffering from post partum depression, which makes everything seen worse. Get some professional help and then address your marriage problems. One step at a time!

Thanks for the read, I started out with MS ten years ago and now Jesus I'm just getting sicker. I'm on disability now only feeling more estranged from normalcy than ever. He changeD me, I became a lunatic trying to get him to understand. Now he tells me he has PTSD from me. I'm an educated woman I ask myself how is it that this is all about him. That he says " I'm sorry" makes his crazy part ok? Sure your great alls good. Thanks for COMMUNICATING. What to do with my anger any suggestions?

I needed medication to get my anger under control. I was deeply depressed and had crazy anxiety. I was very anti-medication but now I wish I hadn't hesitated. It's been a god send. Besides meds, try meditation. Finding another NT with an AS partner with whom you can vent and problem solve would be ideal. Keep venting online to people who get it. I actually have a method that fixed my relationship and want to write a book. In the meantime, I have no where to get the information out to you who need it. Please just believe me that there is hope and things can get better if you're willing to work and do whatever it takes! Hang in there!

I wrote my "method" I'm a blog: http://theaspieway.wordpress.com

Please let me know if it's helpful.

After four years of living with a partner who I believe has undiagnosed aspergers, , I have taken my first formal steps towards self preservation by making an appointment to see a counsellor together with joining a local church so that I can replenish my severely depleted emotional and spiritual stocks. For too long, I have lived in a state of what I call 'low grade' depression. I'm not sure that its a clinical term, but it's distinct from yet other periods where I feel deep despair, helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness and many of the other characteristics of Cassandra Syndrome I've been reading about. I'm sorry this doesn't come as a message of hope as I'm only just climbing out of an abyss but I'm sure to log in from time to time to see how you are all going and to also report on my own progress.

I'm doing great! I have found a way to communicate with my Aspie that actually works. We're both happy and have been for a year. I have hope and want to share it with you all!

I wrote a blog for those who are ready to work hard to make things better: http://theaspieway.wordpress.com

I'm glad you're climbing out. Don't give up. You aren't alone!

It's been almost three years since my divorce from my undiagnosed AS husband was finalized. We were married 14 ½ years. I'm just beginning to breathe. We have two children, who both have ADHD/Anxiety challenges, and I'm searching for tools to help them deal with him. He micromanages them down to the ground. My 15 year old daughter pushes him away and does her own thing. My 13 year old son is drowning. He hates his father. The teachers at the kids school pull me aside and ask me what the hell is wrong with my ex. The rambling emails, the hyper focusing on the smallest of topics.

The divorce was hell. For my kids and myself. To this day, he still believes that I just left. I begged him from the start of our marriage to stop talking, treating me in such a derogatory manner, to come to therapy with me. When he finally agreed (13 years later), it was if something snapped in him and he began to think, "I'll show you." Everything just got worse. Today his view is that I was too sensitive, that he was, and is, and amazing father. That I made everything up. He doesn't see, or remember, the hoops we all had to jump through to keep him calm, organized and focused. He denies the rages, the rants. Everything. The kids and I unfortunately remember everything.

What frustrates me is the number of people around us who tell him what he wants to hear, just to make him go away. They don't want to deal with him. My kid's psychologist shared with me that he has AS. But when confronted by him, demanding to know if he is a "good dad", she backed down. She doesn't want his reactiveness to rebound on our children. She cannot be honest with him. And I understand and agree. But it is so frustrating.

And he still acts like we are married. Telling me what, when, where and how to do things... yet relying on me to make every decision concerning the kids. The amount of texts I receive on a daily basis is staggering. And it doesn't even phase him that he, and his father, made sure that I left the divorce with nothing. Left doesn't do it justice - I ran. Quoting his words, "What the f*&k do you do? You do ****, you do nothing. You're the one who wanted this divorce. You thought this would be easy? Think again." I am so happy to be away from him. I still have to deal with him for another 5 ½ years when my son turns 18. After that, as far as I'm concerned, he doesn't exist.

My advise to any woman considering marrying a man with AS is RUN. If you realize your husband has AS, and he is unwilling to go to therapy - leave now and begin living your own life. One of my closest friends is married to an AS male. He is an amazing husband and partner. They truly work together to communicate and create a mutual life. The key word in this is mutual work - and it can happen. But if your AS mate can't or refuses to see this, he never will. Life is too short. Start living yours now.

Since I've worked things out with my ASH, I can't agree with your advice that all should run, but I do appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

Just found this post and can relate. I am divorcing my husband of 10+ years (we were together for 15 years). I also have RA. I can relate with feeling like the one with something wrong with them as well. I feel sometimes like I'm losing my mind because he is so good at manipulating others to make it seem like it is all me. He didn't seek counseling until after I moved out. I'd been telling him for years (probably half the marriage) that things weren't good and that I wanted out. I felt so guilty leaving him, like I had abandoned my child...and he has acted like one! So many things in your post resonated with me (only listening if you yell, etc. - wow...I can relate!!!!). I hope that things get better for you with your situation, or have gotten better since you wrote your post.

Thank you! They have gotten better. I can now report that I've been happily married to my Aspie for a year. :)

You have become very unhelpful and a little annoying on these posts now as you do not divulge how suddenly from being desperate and down you are now magically extremely happily married? Not helpful just patronising.

I am happy to share how things have gotten better, and I have shared with those who asked. I learned the hard way that some people don't want to know, so I only go into details with those who ask. Some people like having someone else to blame for all of their problems. Sad but true. Others are just too angry and bitter to do the work required (I was for a long time). An Aspie partner has to be in the right frame of mind to be ready for the change required.

It's interesting to me that you, rather than ask, insulted me. I'll bet you either don't want to know or just aren't ready. If you want to know how to make things better, why didn't you just ask? Why attack me?

I have a blog where I wrote out the answers. I share it with anyone who asks me. But, if you think it's patronizing to share that I'm happy, you'll really hate hearing the details of how and why I'm happy.

I don't like being insulted when all I've done is share *my* experiences on *my* story. If you don't like what I have to say, then don't read anymore about *my* life.

Thank you for sharing your story. I found out my husband of 17+ years has Aspbergers. We were divorced a few years ago. I am still working to resolve the questions and issues left behind. I feel for you, as it can be very lonely to be misunderstood. I am glad you recognize the condition. There is beginning to be more awareness in general and I noticed there are a few counselors that specialize in Aspergers. My counselors did not seem to know much about the subject. All the best to you as you continue to learn and grow...

Thank you!

I've just read everything here and like the others before me, suddenly feel a lot less lonely! I just want to say that it's okay to stay with an Aspie when you are feel it's realitistically a better option for the kids. I can honestly say that staying with my children's Aspie father, although very invalidating and upsetting for me, has been good for them. They benefitted from the economic security I wouldn't have been able to give them, living in a country that's not my own. They are now 18 and 16 and can now see for themselves that the father is unfair to me, and that he has no empathy or capacity to listen. They can tolerate him better than I, and I am learning from them. Their understanding and the relationships I now have with them more than compensate for the years of "unintentional abuse" I have had to, and continue to put up with from their father. If you choose to stay, it is definitely not necesarily the wrong decision. Just make sure you take care to develop yourself so that you are able to let your kids leave the nest free, strong and guiltless when the time comes. I drove my son to his first apartment today. I had a flat tire en route. He was so happy that he could fix it for me, and I was so happy that he could. He understands a lot at 18, has spoken about his frustrations with his father and hugged me when I expressed mine. He is ready to go into the world, and I don't feel sad! His sister will make her own mistakes in life but I'm pretty sure she will be more careful in choosing her own relationships as she scrutinizes mine! She askes me questions about my choices, and comforts me when it gets too much for me. Having the two of them in my life, becoming such strong, understanding adults, more than compensates for the child-like adult I'm married too. They didnt always understand, but they do now, and I know they appreciate that I havent abandonned their father. Focus on the glass being half-full, even though some days it may seem empty! And don't forget to put on your own air mask so you can help the others put on theirs!

Thank you! I have stayed in my marriage and we have finally learned to be true partners. We are both happy and have been for about a year. Thanks so much for your support!

That's just great, magicbeet! It sometimes takes a long, difficult time, but I believe that we do indeed reap what we sow. Could we have some more details about how you accomplished this change? I'm sure many of us could benefit from the lessons you've learnt. As for me, things are pretty much the same, no better, no worse. Have been focussing on my own thought-control, so this has helped to sift the important from the not-so, and I'm surging ahead with personal successes while he treads water, neither drowning nor pulling me underwater. We'll see if it gets better with time. I think he's trying ...?

It's very intuitive of you to know that *I* made the changes. I changed, and ASH followed my lead. I would love to share my method! It was developed by me and a friend of mine who also has an Aspie partner. We've worked so hard on it we want to write a book and call it the "Aspie Way" because it's about making changes in a way your Aspie can see and to which he can respond. I really have a book's worth to share and so can't share it all here. But I'll share the first two steps because they're the most important. 1) take care of you. Make sure you're getting enough sleep, that you have at least one person to talk to who really understands, and seek professional help, including medical help if needed (and it's probably needed if you've been with an Aspie for long!). Work to process and let go of your anger so you're prepared to start fresh with a new approach 2) learn to follow the golden rule. Aspies learn through imitation so model the behavior you want from him. Treat him as you'd like to be treated regardless of whether or not he deserves it. For example, if you want him to be kind, treat him with kindness. If you want him to understand you, learn to understand him. If you want him to learn to communicate in a way that you understand and isn't hurtful to you, learn to communicate in a way he can understand and isn't hurtful to him (hint: he can't remember things he learns in emotionally charged situations. Speak to him in a simple, polite, direct, monotone, no-stress way and he will start to really understand and remember what you say.)

That's the best I can do in a reply here, but there's so much more I could share. Maybe I need to create a web page for the Aspie Way...

<p>I did not marry my Aspie partner, instead I ended the relationship because I was starting to lose my mind. But he was the only man I have ever loved and I miss him every day. I will never get over him and I will never love anyone else. But how can you be with someone who is horrible to you? How can you be with someone who, every time you try to discuss anything he finds difficult, he ups and leaves (sometimes for weeks). How can you be with someone who never seems interested in you, never asks you anything and cannot tune in to you? Aren't all these things human needs, necessities and the norm? I could not go on treading on eggshells and worrying about him leaving all the time, I knew he had Aspergers but I couldn't even suggest that to him either because I knew he would deny it. I never raised my voice or argued but he could not cope with anything unless he was not working and I was independent and untroubled. Aspie men are in a different world, they do not do illness, counselling, discussion or empathy, they are hurtful, selfish, short tempered and clueless about others emotional needs. <br />
So why do we love them? We love them because they are completely honest, reliable, very often highly intelligent and high earners, non materialistic and non judgmental and they initially date you like no other, - it feels too good to be true. Sadly and traumatically though everything changes once they have conquered you and you honestly wonder what has hit you. It is a devastating relationship to be in but one which I also believe is impossible to get over.<br />
You are damned if you do and damned if you don't. No one deserves that.</p>

I so feel your pain. Reading what you've been through reminds me that my dh could be so much worse. There are different degrees of Asperger's, and, although it's easy to forget, they are more than their disorder. Some men are jerks, Asperger's or not. Whether from the Asperger's or personality or both, someone who treated you as you describe is not capable of an intimate relationship. I hope you will get over him someday. They say that time heals all wounds.

I agree that it seems impossible to get over. I am six plus years out of the marriage and care about him, in some ways still feel married. My friends and family don't understand this. He could not meet my emotional needs and I don't believe he could ever "learn" to.

I have been married for 22 years and we just recently discovered my husband is an Aspie. I am numb but at the same time, I feel validated and relieved I am NOT crazy. We were in marriage counseling for 10 years until we got thrown out (nothing more they could do...). He's been in private counselling for the last 4, for "depression". The loneliness is unbearable and even with his diagnosis and treatment, nothing has changed. Thank goodness we never had children but my son did live with us and looking back over the years, there were several times/experiences that I questioned that his behavior was just not right. He's a sweet guy, excellent provider and all our friends see him as this very sweet person. But he has always been emotionally void in our marriage, even after years and years of counseling for his "depression". Even after 22 years of marriage, he cannot look directly at me when he does talk. I am torn as to hold out and see what happens after additional treatment or if I should consider leaving now. I am mirroring his behavior, and it is destroying me. I do not have family and my close friends do not live in the area so there is a lot of focus just on our relationship. Can anyone tell me if treatment does work for Aspies???

Treatment can help, if he's willing to take responsibility for his behavior, which is not a sure thing in my experience. Also, change comes very, very slow and is within fairly severe limits. Good luck!

After I found this page I walked around singing "Im not crazy" for two days. Thank you oh so much for posting. What a amazing feeling to realize after 15 Years that i truly am not crazy. I live with 4 people on the spectrum from ages 10 to 65 some days feel like a alien in my own home. Everything you said is my life, thank you for the validation, thank you for reaching out thank you for your strength.......

Thank you for telling me that! I've been away from this site for a long while. It feels SO good to know that my experiences are helpful! This makes my pain worthwhile!

I have just started to understand why my husband acts like he does. Figuring it out makes me feel even worse. I feel like there is no hope now. None. He was born this way and he will die this way. And I get to suffer the consequences.

I know that feeling far too well. I hope you have good days too. Although if there's one thing I've learned from being married to an aspie, it's that hope hurts. (I'm seriously considering getting this tattooed on my forearm.)

u can try to change your life. its not easy to change anything with someone who has this condition. but try to change what u can.

I have to disagree with lotus. Although she may be right, we can't know for sure. Aspies develop intense special interests, and for some that interest can be a person. There's no reason to assume there's anything sexual or romantic about it. But I know it hurts terribly to have all that attention go elsewhere, and I imagine it would hurt even worse if that attention was to another person, especially a woman.

The best way to know is to investigate and find out for your self. You can also try couples counselling where someone can give you an objective view of the situation. I wish you to be happy and get the proper validation and attention you deserve. I my self with my partner have struggled so much, the isolation and non validation is very difficult. They have a one track mind. His obsession use to be his work , not its meditation, its allwasy something. Its sad because he can not see the bigger picture in life and he uses these things to avoid his own inner anxieties. He is finally decided to see a therapist. I can not do this alone.

I have a psychiatrist now and after I saw him, I finally felt validated for the first time in years. I realized my partner is just disabled.

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I believe I lived identically to you. My husband of 15 years has just been diagnosed. The most alone feeling is when you are with the one you love so much but he can't show you. I felt a relief when he was diagnosed. Now it is an excuse to push me away and text and call his new best friend and call me crazy to her. I feel so alone, I love by husband so very much. I miss him telling me he loves me. Now with the diagnosis he feels he doesn't have to, he doesn't understand how going out to supper with his best friend, a beautiful 26 year old girl, he is 44, makes me jealous. He forgets that I ask for help doing projects and needing support. I've made my mistakes, and I don't blame him, it gives me hope for us. Yes it is a medical condition, but with counseling, things can get better. We can get better. I refuse to turn my back on him, even when I feel alone, beaten down, like I am nothing. Most days I feel like the biggest loser in the world. I feel forgettable and awful. The comments he makes about how I don't work enough, I substitute teach 3-5 days a week, tutor 3 individuals, work a part time job and manage the house for our three children and him, because it isn't a full time job with benefits. The comparison he makes about me to others especially how he compares me to his best friend, but yet when I say I'm tired, I'm lonely, he pulls away. I love this man with everything I have and I do not want to lose him. How do I get him help?

You can't. He has to want help. One thing I've learned is that Aspies have two modes: emotional silence and emotional deafening roar. Also that's all they receive: if you're too emotionally quiet, he can't hear you. So turn it up. He'll hate that, but he'll hear you.

sorry but this guy sounds like an ***, I am not sure if it is Aspergers, just abuse.

Sounds like he is into the best friend and u deserve something much better, u are the one who should be his best friend. This sounds sick, sorry, my partner has aspergers and this behaviour is beyond emotional issues. How come he is so communicative with his new friend if he has aspergers, he is just treating u like ****.

You hang in there Magicbeet. You clearly are an intelligent and passionate woman. I had to get up and leave the room twice while reading your post and responses. After 20 years of marriage (and 3 of the most beautiful children in the world!) I have found out that my husband has Aspergers. And all this time I have been told by husband and myself that I am a needy, demanding, irrational crazy woman. I am thinking of leaving but it breaks my heart because I don't want this for my children. And my husband can;t help most of it, because most of the time he is completely unaware of how I am affected. When I try and point things out it is like an episode of "Alice in Wonderland" - I just keep falling down these rabbit warrens. I hope you continue to write because marriage with an Aspie is the loneliest place in the world. I sure could do with some women friends!

I find the ONLY thing that we Aspie partners can do to be happy and sane is to build relationships with others, especially others who are in the same boat. We must connect with other NTs (neurotypicals) or we completely lose who we are and we forget how to connect and be with others, which is particularly bad for us who have children. We have to stay sane and have our normal need for human connections met. I'm going to try and visit here more regularly, so please message me anytime!

This TOTALLY explains my life.....I feel so Blessed to have survived my 25 years of marriage! It will take me a while to rebuild my health but by the Grace of God, I Will Survive!

Let me get this straight.......you are all complaining about a lack of emotionally support from your husbands who have mental disorders that PREVENT them from providing that support. You are blamming them for being insenstivie and mean when they have a MEDICAL CONDITION that causes this behavior.

The fact that someone has a medical condition does not change the fact that the medical conditional has powerful negative effects on the people around that person.

Those are two separate things. One is an explanation for the behavior; the other is a consequence of the behavior. Get it?

To 'Seriouslyladies' - sounds like you lack some serious empathy yourself.

From what I am learning, aspergers isn't a real medical condition, his brain is just wired differently. They have to use a different part of their brain when it comes to social and emotional feelings. They just have to work harder at it. They can see when they hurt people. Many times they may not know or intentionally hurt us, but I can't help but feel many can be and have been pretty nasty (look at all these posts!. I frankly feel better that I am not alone. I feel bad for the NT as well as the AS. AS people know how to behave in public, but until you have been in a relationship with one, you will never know or be able to understand what we and our family are going through. Which are you an NT or an AS? I am a person who wants to make my marriage work, but I find I am the only one working at it. I need an outlet, I don't want to bother my friends and family any further with my situation so that is why I have turned to this site. To people who are living it.

I am happy for you that you are ignorant of what we're dealing with. What I can't understand is why you spend your time criticizing other people's needs and feelings. Surely you can find something better to do?

medical condition or brain stuff, same same, just labels, doesnt change the reality of any of us living with aspergers

2 More Responses

Living and being married to an AS for 36 years, I am totally exhausted. The biggest hurt is his inability to have a 'normal' loving relationship with our two children. My son who is now 29, has had to grow up feeling unloved by his own father. I have told him so many times that Dad has problems and not to get hurt. He has made a life of his own, thank God. I have been on the brink of a nervous breakdown, living with my husbands dark strange ways, for which I spent 6 months on medication. He can be so very hurtful, yet relies 100% on me. He is incredibly lazy, needs a firm structure to each day, ie the dog gets walked at 2pm, and he sits to read at 4pm, then sits and waits to be fed at 5pm etc. Repetitive habits drive me insane. I survive by keeping myself incredibly busy. Join clubs, work full time, go on committees, fund raise etc. My AS husband is now retired, and I work from home as a graphic designer. I dread the thought of being retired alongside him. Looking back, I wish I had never married him. I envy friends who can invite people round or arrange social activities with their husbands. Telling my husband that we are meeting up with a bunch of my friends for an evening out, would make him react as if I told him to do a bungee jump off the Shard. Now my aging mother needs lots of care he has become very abusive about the time I spend with her. If I had the time and energy I would have to move on. Instead I'll keep buzzing with distractions. Sincerest sympathies to all of you girls out there who are suffering as I do.

If you are married to an AS like I am then don't keep making excuses for him. It is abusive, he is abusive and he has the best intentions doesn't he? No apologies, but the best intentions, along with complexly honed defense mechanisms, excuses, and coping strategies. Face it, you will never be happy with this person and it sounds like you are on here like the rest of the folks who are just trying how to have a perception shift, make miracles, make lemonade out of lemons, and learn to love their prison. Take the best advice on here, which was, GET OUT.

I don't even know where to begin here. I've read your words and felt the frustration and hurt behind them. Let me give you a little background so you can see where I am coming from.<br />
If I was the child today that I was in my own childhood, I would have been maxed out on meds, labeled as autistic and had a completely different life. As it was, my parents beat some of the traits out of me and I learned about personal pain and growth. What they did hurt and I would never suggest raising a child like that, but it did allow me to develop some compassion and learn about cause and effect. Of course, I still have some of my little quirks, but I see autism quite differently than most people do and I won't go into that here.<br />
The most disturbing thing about this whole thread (in my eyes) is that you keep insisting that what he does is not abuse because he does not do it to abuse you. I realize it is much easier for me to see the obvious than you because you are right there in the middle of it. But no, abusers rarely see what they do as abuse. It is always something the other person did that caused them to behave this way. Aspie or not, he is emotionally abusive to you.<br />
Now, I saw that someone told you to leave and was a bit brutal about it. That sucks and was not helpful at all. Would I encourage you to leave? Yes, if you were my friend I would back you all the way and help you find resources, BUT I understand where you are coming from. This is an entire lifestyle change that you would have to do and I am not even talking about material wealth.<br />
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I don't think it is his intent to hurt you, but his behaviors are abusive none the less. I was with a man like him for a period of time and I found that the relationship was sucking the life out of me so much so that I actually would start an argument about something familiar just so I knew what to expect.<br />
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Stay or go...it's up to you, but don't kid yourself. An abuser is an abuser until he is stopped. And he will likely never admit that he was wrong because he is an emotional abuser, which means he cannot even see the responsibility he has.<br />
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My concern is for the kids. If you make excuses for your husband (It's okay, he's an Aspie) whether you say it our loud or not, your children get the same message that is currently being given to more Aspies than I care to think about. That message is that they "can't" do this or that and therefore are not responsible for their own behavior. If this is what your own children see and hear, then you have just created the exact same situation you are in for their future spouses. You, your children, and even your spouse deserve more than that.<br />
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I have no step by step instructions, but I do wish you the best. God bless you, your heart is in the right place where everyone else is concerned and I hope one day it will be in the right place when you look in the mirror.

Thank you so much for your story, your truth. Im also a partner of an Aspie, who wont admit it most days, and certainly wont admit the negative traits (only those strengths he likes the idea of). I find the HARDEST part is the invalidation. I find that I feel like Im going crazy when he blames me because he misunderstands things, or tries to convince me that the expectations that I have are unreasonable (ie that someone will answer you when you've asked a question rather than walk away, or actually listen when you tell them about your day, or remember the things you say instad of forgetting them almost as soon as the conversation is over). I find it especially difficult that when I point out what he's doing that is odd then IM just being mean (eg I ask "can you pls vacuum the ensuite, and he then vacuums the walk in robe, then says its because I didn't explain it properly!?*&% arrrggghhhhhh). I also know that if I speak in a normal voice it doesn't get through, but when I yell at least he pays attention a bit, then I feel horrible because Im yelling, and he tells me off for 'abusing him'. Im scared to go to couples therapy because he can argue a good line, and is able to "fool' most people initially, so a couples therapist is probably not going to 'get it' and will invalidate me further. I have found that seeing an individual therapist with experince with AS myself has helped enormously, so I get some validation thats its not "me who's crazy", but Im fortunate to live in a country that subsidizes therapy sessions (Aus). Ironically Im also a therapist myself! Six year at uni and a masters in clinical psychology and it still took me two years to figure out that he has asperger's, so it is not easy or quick to diagnose often, unless you have some additional experience (ie work in the disability field or know an aspie). Im lucky that I have Aspie's already diagnosed in my extended family, which gave me some clue about what was probably going on, relatively soon into the relationship. I think one of the toughest issues to get my head around is that 'if an Aspie cant help their disorder then can I get frustrated with them for it?' So I try to be non-judgemental, but I learnt that this 'other care' needs to be balanced with 'self care' - I need to seek validation from other sources, books, website, support groups, friends who understand, and any other place I possibly can. Ive noticed how several posters have jumped into giving you advice, and in my experience this is a way for them to soothe their own anxiety after reading about your pain. You are the only one that can figure out what is best for you, and you are doing exactly the right thing by owning your own truth. Start there and then the path ahead becomes clearer, dont get distracted by the paths that others seem to be convinced you 'should' go down, after knowing only a fraction of your life, thats just as invalidating as your hubby can be. You are articulate and educated and looking for solutions, thats a good thing. Sometimes the pain we feel is what motivates us, so dont shut that down, listen to it, validate it yourself. I sometimes get in my own way - at present I wont reach out more locally because I think that if people realise Im a psychologist then I have to be the strong one with the solutions, when really I feel like a freakin' wreck who doesn't know what the hell to do next. At least on the internet I dont have to pretend. I too have developed autoimmune problems in the re;ationship from the stress, and have stress induced depression, which I actively treat, otherwise Id be much more of a mess. Anyway thanks for sharing - I can relate.

Thank you for your words! Every one of them about your aspie is exactly the same as mine; I could have written them word for word. These behaviors are beyond frustrating. Dh and I have spent many hours in the past couple of days going round and round, with me simply trying to get a straight answer to a simple question. I'd ask the question "Are you still happy with me homeschooling?" And he'd respond by talking about something unrelated, or by questioning me back, or by criticizing me about something else, or by saying he's too tired to talk, or by walking away.  Everytime, I would calmly remind him that I'd asked a question, tell him I'd like a direct answer, and repeat the exact same simple question. We have been doing more communication by email lately, and if I didn't have an email he wrote recently to read to him, over and over, we would have made no progress at all. He insisted to know why I asked the question, which was because he'd complained in an email about our financial status, so I wanted to think about going back to work. So I'd explain this, and all he wanted to do was argue about our finances and talk about me going back to work, and he actually refused, point blank, to answer my question! He actually argued, enraged, that I "accused" him of saying something he hadn't said, which happens a lot, but this time, I simply held up the email and read aloud what he'd said (what he'd
said had triggered my question). 20 minutes later, we'd be back to the same place. After dozens of times, over the course of 2 days, he finally addressed my question, sort of, while complaining that if I'd only asked him simply in the first place he would have answered! I wanted to jump out a window or run screaming and crying into the street. I'm with you, I tell myself over and over that he can't help it, that I shouldn't be angry, but I just don't know how much more I can take. I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do: speaking in black and white, simple terms, saying what I mean and meaning what I say, not expecting much from him - I only go to him if I feel I really, really need something because the cost is so high for his help, and so I've completely changed everything about what I want, what I expect, how I communicate and how I think, and yet it does very little good. Even when I go through these horrible multi-day struggles for the most important of issues, I may get him to see some point of mine, and he'll promise to remember whatever it is I'm asking of him, but he never, ever does. Now, he may remember to take out the trash (or he may not), but if it's an issue that deals with me, or communication, or his opinion on something (these never bend to accommodate me or new information I give him, not even during a relatively successful conversation), or - heaven forbid - a feeling, whatever he seems to have learned flies out his brain the minute after we reach an understanding. And I could probably cope with this if he would just *admit* he has the problem rather than blame me, deny everything that's happened, justify his own failures as if they're not, or, worst of all, invalidate the affect his behavior has on me and my point of view, never mind that my point of view is consistent with facts and reality, like a typed email he wrote. It's not so much the disability I can't stand - I could happily write him reminders all day long - it's the ego and the stubbornness and his justifications for his inflexible thinking that I can't stand. How can somebody be so intelligent, and successful at work, and make such a good impression on everyone he meets manage to be such a self-centered ego-maniac who is irrational and down right stupid when dealing with me? He has the skills - I see this at work - but his stubborn need for control overrides these skills at home. I feel I'm at the end of my rope, but thank you so much for reminding me that I'm not alone and for listening to me vent!

Hey there, I came across your story while researching info on Asperger's (dealing w/an Aspy friend who's been having a lot of probs in his relationships due to his behavior.) It's been a while since you posted, so I wonder whether you'll get a chance to read this. <br />
<br />
First, I think you SHOULD delete personal attacks (like the one above.) If someone doesn't like w/you have to say they can read someone else's blog. Don't let them attack you here. There's no need for it. Frankly, I think "imsokarude" is being abusive. Delete!<br />
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Second, you SHOULD get out of this relationship, as Texas stated earlier. I know it's difficult without money and without a supportive family behind you, but there are women's organizations that exist to help women who are in abusive relationships. Psychological abuse can be worse than physical abuse. A battered women's shelter would be a safe place to go initially and your husband won't be able to find you there. They will help you to get your life back in order. It wd be even better if you cd leave the state (Greyhound's not too expensive and you could research battered women's shelters in other states via the Internet.) I read of a woman who snuck out of the house in the middle of the night w/her kids, drove a thousand miles away and started a new life. Her husband also had a lot of money, power and influence. He told her he'd have her locked up in a mental hosp for the rest of her life if she dared try to leave him! But guess what? She left him anyway.He cdn't stop her from leaving and he cdn't find her once she'd gone. Turns out he didn't have the power she thought he'd had.<br />
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Once you're away from this abusive relationship you'll be able to think more clearly. Right now, you seem to feel helpless and hopeless, but once you remove yourself from the situation you'll see that there are solutions out there and that this guy is not as invincible as he has you trained to think he is. People who work with battered women or rape victims are used to hearing stories like these--women who are afraid of the abuser because he's wealthy, popular, prominent, and no one will believe her, etc. What you're experiencing is very, very common actually. Also Asperger's is something a person wouldn't be able to easily hide from a trained professional. The ordinary person may not notice his symptoms because most people don't know what Asp is and often the personality traits (lack of empathy or emotion) are thought of as "manly" to some. But, again, a trained professional WILL believe you and will be able to diagnose him. It's unlikely he'll be able to fool a good psychologist no matter how charming he is. Again, trained prof'ls are used to dealing w/abusers who pretend to be harmless on the surface.<br />
<br />
So please don't give up. Contact a battered women's shelter, rape crisis center or another group that supports abused women. Explain that you're being psychologically abused but that you are afraid of your husband's retaliation should you leave him and that you lack monetary resources or support from family. Sometimes psychological abuse can lead to physical abuse, so they should take you seriously. <br />
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Please don't continue to suffer. No one deserves to be abused--physically or psychologically (or by commentators who hide behind fake usernames on the Internet.) You deserve to have a better life, and you can. There is a way out. Not everyone will be fooled by his charm. Just don't give up.

Thank you so much for your concern and for the time you spent with your reply. I'm deeply touched.

I'm not convinced that what I'm dealing with is actually abuse. Some things he does, if they were done by an NT, would be abuse, but coming from an Aspie, it may not be abuse because he is not hurting me intentionally. He just doesn't get the cause and effect between what he says and how I feel. I think if he did understand, he'd stop. He doesn't want to hurt me; he just doesn't  know how not to.

Something I've learned a *lot* about because of my aspie is that expectations play a big part in emotional pain. If I could just stop expecting a loving and supportive husband, I wouldn't be so hurt when faced with the behaviors that show he's not. I've made a lot of progress in this area, and it has helped. 

But there are some things I don't know how to fix. For instance, my pastor thinks I need a vacation, and I agree. I'm burnt out. But my dh won't let me. He says he'll divorce me and take the kids if I go. He doesn't see the need for me to go away for a weekend and doesn't want to spend the money. He doesn't need a vacation, so why should I? If I go, he sees this as me abandoning him and my children and suspects I have some nefarious reason for wanting to go (since he doesn't understand why I want to go, he imagines reasons that make sense to him and his paranoia). He therefore thinks that, if I go, I've given him  grounds for divorce. In his eyes, my going is the same as if I were leaving him or cheating on him. An NT would understand I need the break, but my Aspie can't. If he could understand that I'm burnt out and need a break, he'd be fine with it. He's not keeping me from going to hurt me, he's keeping me from going because the only reasons for going that he can understand are bad. To him, the threat to him and the kids is very real.

Abusers know they are abusing. Afterward, they are sorry and apologetic. My dh just thinks he's doing what's best. I don't think it's the same as abuse. It sucks, but I have to weigh the bad against the good. Do I really need a vacation that bad? If I left him and tried to support myself and my three kids (a teen and 2 on the spectrum) with rheumatoid arthritis and no family support, what are my odds of a vacation then? Even less, I'd say. So I feel stuck, and depressed, and in need of support from an understanding community, but I don't feel abused and don't see how leaving him would make things better. Despite the lack of love, understanding, and support from my husband, when I look at things rationally, my kids and I have it better with him than without. 

When I explain to him that I'm hurt by something he does - or doesn't do -, he thinks I shouldn't be hurt, that he had good intentions and that's all that matters. He completely invalidates my POV because he can't see it. His POV is all he can see - he has Asperger's and no Theory of Mind. 

So I keep working at changing my expectations. I do better not to compare my marriage to the one I wish I had; it's better to compare my marriage to what life would be if I were supporting my children alone. At this point, I believe my kids an I are better off with him than without. I've made my bed, and I'm laying in it. I made this post in part to help others learn from my mistakes. If I'd known early on what I know now, I wouldn't have made this bed. Maybe my experience can help others.

As for the abusive poster, I understand her too. She's trolling people's posts and is extremely upset by what she sees. Because I'm invalidated at home, I seek validation for my view elsewhere, like here, and even here, there are Aspies (whether they acknowledge they have the disorder or not) who feel the need to invalidate me on my own post. It's just part of their disability not to understand these issues, and some of them find it easier to attack what they don't understand than to acknowledge their failings. They're prone to paranoia and depression and are desperate to believe they are right because being wrong destroys their sense of self worth; black and white, inflexible thinking makes it difficult to see themselves as less than perfect ("I must be either perfect or a failure"), so seeing a post like mine, that suggests being an Aspie could mean being less than perfect, brings out the worst, just as my having needs my dh can't fill brings out the worst in him. Every Aspie is different, and I'm not suggesting anything in particular  about anybody else's relationship, but if my story is at all familiar to an Aspie reader, she's going to take it personally. An Aspie thinks everything is about her, and therefore actually thinks that my personal post about my life is an attack on her, someone I've never met! To an NT, this is crazy, but the poor Aspie can't help such narcissistic reactions. 

Thanks again for your supportive reply. NT-Aspie relationships are complicated, and learning an outsider's view helps me to learn and process, to gain some perspective. 

Hey there, I came across your story while researching info on Asperger's (dealing w/an Aspy friend who's been having a lot of probs in his relationships due to his behavior.) It's been a while since you posted, so I wonder whether you'll get a chance to read this. <br />
<br />
First, I think you SHOULD delete personal attacks (like the one above.) If someone doesn't like w/you have to say they can read someone else's blog. Don't let them attack you here. There's no need for it. Frankly, I think "imsokarude" is being abusive. Delete!<br />
<br />
Second, you SHOULD get out of this relationship, as Texas stated earlier. I know it's difficult without money and without a supportive family behind you, but there are women's organizations that exist to help women who are in abusive relationships. Psychological abuse can be worse than physical abuse. A battered women's shelter would be a safe place to go initially and your husband won't be able to find you there. They will help you to get your life back in order. It wd be even better if you cd leave the state (Greyhound's not too expensive and you could research battered women's shelters in other states via the Internet.) I read of a woman who snuck out of the house in the middle of the night w/her kids, drove a thousand miles away and started a new life. Her husband also had a lot of money, power and influence. He told her he'd have her locked up in a mental hosp for the rest of her life if she dared try to leave him! But guess what? She left him anyway.He cdn't stop her from leaving and he cdn't find her once she'd gone. Turns out he didn't have the power she thought he'd had.<br />
<br />
Once you're away from this abusive relationship you'll be able to think more clearly. Right now, you seem to feel helpless and hopeless, but once you remove yourself from the situation you'll see that there are solutions out there and that this guy is not as invincible as he has you trained to think he is. People who work with battered women or rape victims are used to hearing stories like these--women who are afraid of the abuser because he's wealthy, popular, prominent, and no one will believe her, etc. What you're experiencing is very, very common actually. Also Asperger's is something a person wouldn't be able to easily hide from a trained professional. The ordinary person may not notice his symptoms because most people don't know what Asp is and often the personality traits (lack of empathy or emotion) are thought of as "manly" to some. But, again, a trained professional WILL believe you and will be able to diagnose him. It's unlikely he'll be able to fool a good psychologist no matter how charming he is. Again, trained prof'ls are used to dealing w/abusers who pretend to be harmless on the surface.<br />
<br />
So please don't give up. Contact a battered women's shelter, rape crisis center or another group that supports abused women. Explain that you're being psychologically abused but that you are afraid of your husband's retaliation should you leave him and that you lack monetary resources or support from family. Sometimes psychological abuse can lead to physical abuse, so they should take you seriously. <br />
<br />
Please don't continue to suffer. No one deserves to be abused--physically or psychologically (or by commentators who hide behind fake usernames on the Internet.) You deserve to have a better life, and you can. There is a way out. Not everyone will be fooled by his charm. Just don't give up.

Hmmm - since AS manifests itself a little different in every person - ie. some obsessions may be easier to deal with than others and some Aspies more motivated to make changes than others - there is no need to be so rude. I share magicbeet's experience in my own life - and after 16yrs of my own experience I personally am fed up with my Aspie partner and I now have a laundry list of medical problems as well and alot of frustration bordering on downright anger from trying to "make things better." Not everyone's situation is the same.

Don't worry about the rude comments. You'll see them at almost any place where Aspie spouses are expressing their feelings. I deleted them, but we may see more. Aspies take everything so personally, and since they can't understand another's POV, they can have trouble understanding that our unpleasant feelings and experiences are valid and some of them feel the need to try to invalidate strangers online. I'm here to tell you they are valid though! I feel your pain and am so sorry that you're going through this too.

I have two girlfriends married to Aspies who are basically happy. Of course I know that not all Apsies are completely inflexible, obsessed, and prone to violent meltdowns. My experience is my own, and my hubby's issues are some of the worse I've heard of personally (I've heard of worse in books but not from anyone I know). He was already in his 40s when he learned he has it, and I think it's harder for older folks to change (true of Aspies and NTs). He also had a difficult childhood, forcing him to develop deeper coping mechanisms than someone from a supportive home and, as an Aspie, he doesn't know how to let those go. I understand why he is the way he is, but that doesn't make it any easier to live with. I waffle between being fed up, convinced he will never change, and hoping that maybe, just maybe, he'll budge an itty bitty bit.

Hi Magicbeet,<br />
thank you for sharing your story. I totally understand what you mean. I have an Aspie-husband too. At least, I am sure he is, he's sure he isn't and doesn't want a test. So the only one who's trying to cope, adjust, survive and takes care of the children emotionally, is me. He just lives his own life. <br />
Isn't it frustrating that no friend or familymember seems to see what we have to deal with? We're having a hard and lonely life; being with someone and feeling so lonely at the same time! I know how tired you must be, I am too. My husband and I are together for 20 years now, I often wonder how different my life would have been with a normal spouse. I cannot watch romantic movies, because it makes me realize what I miss. Although I'm convinced that he really loves me and I stayed with him for all those years, I know it's not enough. It might help us to write to each other about this issue. At least we understand each other. <br />
I think you're doing a great job, surviving this and taking care of your children. They are so lucky to have you as a mother. There must be a way for you to reload your own batteries. I think getting on the internet and reach out for people was a great step. Maybe you can even create a carreer out of it: ever thougt of becoming an online coach or having a webshop? <br />
Hang in there, you're not alone.

Thanks! I'm going to try to figure out how to write to you directly, but want to say here - congrats on 20 years!

I LOVE your career idea. It has everything I need and want: I'd get to use my psychology skills and yet still work at home. I definitely will look into it.

Hi,<br />
It is not too late for you to get yourself some sanity. GET OUT. Even if you have to live in an efficiency, GET OUT. WHY are you caring for gardens and pets better than for yourself?! An adults aspie is completely capable of getting help and management tools. Your son is not so "disabled" that he can't attend public school! This is not the 1800's.<br />
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I speak as a teacher. I've had several Autistic students and I'm married to an aspie. There is NO WAY I would stay in the environment you have described. You must be a depressed emotional wreck. You need SUPPORT. <br />
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In my opinion, you should rent a place for you and the kids at least for one year. Your children are absorbing your husband's attitude and learning that it's OK to treat women that way!!! You are letting them. GET OUT and make that man take responsibility. He is aspie... there are LOTS of different ways that he can accomodate being a married man and a good daddy. It is not an excuse, it is a realization!<br />
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This is what I visualize: You say you've been drowning for years, and there's no rope to save you. ----- BUT you know how to swim to shore. He has been pushing your head under water for YEARS. You are bobbing. SWIM TO SAFETY WITH YOUR CHILDREN! ---- <br />
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Can you imagine what your poor children are going to go through as adults if you don't take charge of this situation?

It's nice to be believed for a change, although I find your response to be hurtful and completely unrealistic. Even efficiency apartments cost money and I have none. I have no family to help, haven't had a job for over 11 years (looks great on a resume!), and can barely move about half of the mornings because of my auto-immune disease. In this economy, getting a job isn't going to happen for me right now. I'm dependent on my husband for his insurance and his income. He's threatened to sue for custody of the kids if I leave him, and he might just get it. I have no proof of how he is. He seems FINE to most people (thus my Cassandra Syndrome) and he doesn't have an official diagnosis. It took me years to figure out what was wrong with him. He'd make it through a few minutes in court -and probably even a psych eval -with flying colors. My kids are better off in a secure home, where they are loved and are getting a great education, than they would be if I left and he got custody of them. If you have any practical advice, I'd love to hear it, but there's no need for you to rub in the fact that my kids have to suffer. I already know. I've chosen what seems to be the lesser of two evils. I'm doing the best I can with what I've got now.

You're right, I am choosing the devil I know. I'm just not sure that's a bad thing. 

I've re-read my post, trying to figure out what I said that's causing others to think I'm abused. He does have ocassional meltdowns when he yells loudly and says horrible things. These outbursts feel violent because he's big and strong and loud, but I don't fear for my safety, he's never threatened to hit me. My "slams me right back into hell" was figurative, not literal. And I yell at him too, not as much as I used to, but over the years, I've been just as guilty of losing my temper, if not more, which I acknowledged in my post. So is being cold, self-centered, and obsessive abusive? He can't help being those things, and he is my kids' father. They're going to see how he is whether we live with him or not. He also has some great traits, which I didn't explain in my post because I wanted to share the hard part, not the easy part. But there are easy parts. He is not a bad person. He does the best that he can. My kids see that too. Daddy does the best he can, Mommy is sad sometimes, and sometimes Mommy and Daddy argue and even yell sometimes. When they're older, they might see that Daddy isn't like other husbands and they might then understand why Mommy is sad sometimes. They might not because they're aspie too. I don't know. What I know is that I have one way of thinking and my dh has another. Who's to say my way is the right one? Especially since my kids think like my dh; they understand each other in a way I can't. Our brains are just different, and my kids may actually benefit from living with a like-brained parent who often understands them better than I do. I believe we're better for the kids together than apart. My happiness, my desires for love and romance and passion and empathy and understanding take a back seat to what's best for my kids, even though what's best is far from ideal.

My dd from my first marriage, who is an NT with high emotional intelligence, sees the situation very clearly and has learned a lot about relationships from mine. She's better equipped for choosing a good partner than I was because she's had to learn excellent communication skills to communicate with her aspie stepfather. It's been hard for her to see me sad, and yet in many ways she's better for it. We talk openly, and together have learned how to say what we mean and mean what we say, something most NTs have trouble doing. Would she be better off if her mom had a doting husband, the romance of a lifetime filled with love and laughter? Maybe. But how many of us really have that? How many of us chase that dream and then suffer from failure? She might be better off knowing that real relationships are hard work.

So I'm thinking I gave the wrong impression with my post because it's only part of the story, and it's the bad part. I want support through the bad parts, but I don't think running away is the answer. And yes my kids sometimes suffer because their parents have problems, but I really believe they'd suffer more if I took them from their father. 

Magicbeet,
Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I have been married for three years to my husband, and I am finally beginning to see that he may suffer with a mild form of aspbergers. I love what you said about your dd from your previous marriage learning from what you are going through. I pray that my son from my first marriage will do the same. Your postings give me two things I have lacked in my marriage 1. Validation and 2. Empathy. My husband and I were in counseling with a female psychologist for a year and a half and it just seemed to make things worse..it's almost as if the entire year and a half was devoted to my issues (which I freely admit I have my own faults and major failures in our relationship). It's almost as she gave him the right to continue holding me responsible for every wrong thing in our marriage. I finally confronted my husband and told him if our marriage were to survive, we needed a second opinion. We began going to a biblical guidance counselor at a local church and within two sessions he had zeroed in on the fact that my husband totally lacks empathy and the ability to take responsibility for his own failings. I can't tell you how freeing that was to me...just to have someone else see that! (My own family intimates to me that I need serious help and that my dh is the long suffering gracious one). It has been a hurtful three years and I have slipped deeper and deeper into depression. I hate the insecurity I feel. But I do know that I'm the only one who can deal with where I have let this whole experience take me. And just that sense of being able to control at least how I let all of this affect me gives me hope. Thanks again for sharing your experiences...it helped me more than you know!

Welcome to the group, magicbeet. You said it all. Impervious spouse, barricaded in a world which nothing penetrates. A toxic and uncooperative atmosphere at home. No way to leave and no hope of improvement. The eroding of self-esteem and eventual breakdown of health. (I have so many things wrong with me medically after 30 years of an Aspie marriage it's embarrasing.) The realization you've reached the point where mere survival is success. And that none of this makes any sense to those who haven't experienced it. I don't watch much TV anymore because it's painful to see the portrayal of "normal" reciprocal relationships. I had a few like that before I married. Hard to believe I used to be "normal" too...

Wow, you really do understand. Thanks so much!