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I Am Just Beginning This Journey And Have So Many Questions

Hello everyone, 
I'm so glad I happened upon this group and hope I can find and give some support. First, does anyone know of a local support group in the Northern Virginia area?
I have been married for 23 years to a man I am certain has Aspergers. My head has been spinning with questions and concerns as well as so many observations. My marriage has been very difficult and now I realize so many of our problems could have either been avoided or at least handled in a much healthier fashion if we had had this knowledge long ago. But, on the bright side, better late than never. 
I am going to cut and paste the first post I made on this site earlier this month so that I don't have to try to rewrite my story. I was responding to someone else's post about dealing with her revelation that her husband has aspergers.

I wish I could find a chat room with people, it's so hard to just comment and hope back for a reply. 
Anyway I really feel your pain, and am in the exact same situation except that my husband and i have started living together again. This is so serious, we have been married 23 years, have 3 adult children, but I just don't know if I can keep doing this. All the stress has had serious health implications for me too. I also have an auto immune disease called Mixed Connective Tissue and Fibromyalgia, and I am very dependent on him financially and otherwise. I do love him too, soooo much, but I've felt like I've been going crazy for 23 years. 

We most recently have been seeing a very good therapist for the last couple of years, who first diagnosed him with ADD, which I never felt explained the whole story. I am glad to finally find out that I am not going crazy and that all this craziness has an explanation other than my thoughts that he might actually be a sociopath. Even though our therapist assured me that my husband did not fit that diagnosis. My situation has been further complicated by the fact that 10 years ago he was arrested for public indecent exposure, which all by itself has taken a huge toll on the trust I have for him. We have done a lot of work around that and through regression therapy he found out he had been molested as a child and forced to expose himself to his cousins and god knows who else. He had buried those memories, but through the therapy remembered so many details it was quite remarkable. Those details were later confirmed by relatives who had known the offender. After learning so much about Aspergers it's all starting to make sens, all the pieces finally fitting together. How susceptible those with AS are to being taken advantage of, his inability to express empathy, so many things. In a way I feel so bad for him, and all he has had to endure and much of it due to the fact that he has had this disorder along with ADD, and was never diagnosed. He agrees that it's very possible he has aspergers, but as usual does not seem very motivated to do the things he needs to do to find ways to compensate for some of the areas where he really needs to improve in order to make the relationship less stressful. 

This new knowledge has helped me to readjust many of my expectations, but that has also come with a lot of grief about things that I now know will never really change. Which I really already knew after 23 years, now I just understand why, which is a kind of relief, if you can call it that.
These last few years of therapy have really helped me to see how much stress I've been under, how I don't take care of myself, how much my life has been wrapped up in all his issues. Now Its all starting to really sink in and I'm trying to take an honest look at myself and figure out if I can thrive in this relationship or just continue to survive. I want this last part of my life to be more about me and growing and doing all the things I have been so distracted from all these years, not to mention better health, and I'm wondering if that's even possible when you're married to someone with this disorder. Wow, it's a good idea no one ever really tells you how hard marriage can get and what you might just be in for for the long haul! 

I've really been through the mill over the years, I wish there was a support group near where I live, which is in norhern Virginia near Washington, DC . If anyone knows of a support group for partners of Aspies near me could you please give me a link. 

 I also feel very isolated and alone in all of this and it sounds like we have a lot in common.

I appreciate everyone's comments and participation here, These communities must be more readily available if AS/NT marriages are to survive.
With gratitude,
Elenakai


elenakai elenakai 46-50, F 3 Responses Feb 23, 2012

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Elenakai, I feel your pain too. Reading your post opened my eyes to my own situation of how I have not been taking care of myself either. I've let myself go and now I have a nervous habit of playing with my hair to the point where the hair is breaking & that's a problem all its own. :-/ I too have been under a lot of stress and it's always about his stuff. I feel stretched too thin like I don't have anything left for myself. I too wish for a local support group. I'm sure there must be groups in your area. I would Google Northern Virginia/DC AS support groups and see what comes up. Thanks for letting me vent to your post. :)

Dear Mrs. Elenakai, I feel your pain I have been stressed so much that it has effected my blood pressure and since I finally been informed of my husbands diagnosis it has finally opened my eyes and now the hard decision is how much can my health take until I learn how to live with it. I wish we were closer as I am attending the Mind Institute, Sacramento, CA to see about learning more about this Asperger Syndrome and if any support groups. If I locate any I will share them with everyone across the state. Blessings to you Elenakai.