Day Number 1335

It's been 1335 days since I brought this into my life.
I was a widow from cancer, he was a widower from a suicide, we met at church. He was kind and caring, he cooked and did dishes and did repairs around my house for me. It was nice in the beginning, but of course I didn't realize that anything was wrong, he was just different from my first husband­. They just had different talents and different interests. This guy was quieter, less social, more of a homebody, I thought it would be ok. I had never encountered autism of any kind.

His parents had custody of his 4 children (to help him out), and instead of forcing them on me all at once after we got married, they kindly sent them one at a time over the space of a year. The 17yo came first and she was odd from day one, so I took her into therapy thinking it was PTSD... nope, Aspergers. The 15yo came, he was out of control so I took him into therapy.... Aspergers again.... A 13yo boy who is fine.... Then a 11yo boy with Aspergers. All undiagnosed, all completely out of control, all chaotic, and their father doesn't even notice anything is wrong with them. My MIL kept telling me they were “just kids” and they were upset from their mother's mental illness. Not so, turns out they were a danger to my three NT children, so his parents took the older AS kids and the NT boy back into their home. Nobody wanted this last Asperger boy because he is SO odd and needs so much structure, so he is still here with me, but it turned out that he was the key to me realizing what was wrong with his father, so I am glad he stayed.

I had my ah-ha moment 2 days ago when I realized that the same behavior and frustration I was encountering with my AS stepson exactly mirrored my husband. I don't know why I never saw it earlier, especially given how many books I have read on the subject. So we had a talk. He admits to these feelings and told me how much I confuse him and he admits he can't decipher my communication.... So here I am! It was a good conversation. Unusual for us to actually talk about it because normally, talking to him about himself is like talking to a houseplant... I end up with the same response... nothing. Only the most obnoxious, most negative thing in the room gets his attention. I find that he sees and hears nothing that is subtle or soft.

Sex with my husband was weird from day one. We would be going along just great and then he would lay back and have a sigh of relief that he was strong enough to avoid actual intercourse... huh? I thought it was a religious thing at first. I would tell him “we're married, we're supposed to have sex several times a week”, then he would tell me how he couldn't tell that I wanted to because I was not responding to him and didn't want him.... huh again?? Excuses, excuses.... I finally told him that every time I showed up naked, it meant I wanted to and to not question it …. just suck it up, be a man and have sex with his wife. And for the record, I have gone to bed naked every night since then. He doesn't notice.

Times when we would get halfway there and he would stop because he was not sure, it's like I would look at him, and smile or make a pleasant noise, and he would take that as me not having fun. We started really fighting about our lack of intimacy on every level. So then it got to be that if I was in tears or sad or wanted to be alone, that is when he wanted it and I would just lay there and take it & fake it because there was no point to getting passionate and being left hanging halfway. It is all backwards, and actually, I mostly stopped trying to have sex with him about 5 months into the marri­age. We have had sex 27 times since I gave up trying. And even those were really mediocre attempts. Mostly I take care of myself and I have zero guilt about it. I have done lots of things trying to get this guy to scoop me up in his arms and love me... It's like he can't even see me. It has not helped.

I don't dare tell any of my friends that I live in this awful existance. Who would really believe it anyway that I live this lonely life. It's bigger than just no intimacy, it encompasses every aspect of my marriage. I am so alone. I don't even go into church any more or visit friends. Nobody calls me anymore. Nobody wants to deal with my depression right now and probably my biggest problem is that I did live in a normal loving marriage at one time, so I know it's not a walk in the park, but it's not this daily torture either. There are days I think I am going crazy and I question my hold on reality and I know exactly why his first wife chose to end it all like she did. In my book, she is a saint for putting up with it for 17 years. So much of what he does borders on abuse if it was from a normal man, but he has no clue. The worst part is what he doesn't give me. Things every healthy human needs to thrive and grow, it's lack of nurture, lack of partnership and lack of companionship. I live in total chaos. I never know what is coming next, but I do know it won't be good or uplifting.

I was healthy and normal when he married me and now I can barely walk or move. My skin looks dull to me and I feel like I have aged a decade overnight. I think it might be from the depression, but it sure feels real to me. We don't have insurance anymore so I can't even go find out.

He loves me. I know this, and I love him too. But can I live like this for the rest of my life? Can I live with just a roommate who cooks for me and does house repairs, but makes me feel like I'm worthless? I never wanted my empty nest years to be like this. He has sucked all the fun from my life.

I hope somebody is still on this forum. I just need to be heard. I need to be not alone.
GinnyV GinnyV
51-55, F
6 Responses May 7, 2012

Oh my you have just written my life, I have never told this to anyone and I'm in year 25 it is so hard to explain how much I crave normal, we run along but only if I remain psychologically Fit. The guilt comes when I tell my children to accept the difference in people, tolerate their weird bits., ahhh but I'm struggling, three girls only one with Asperger s very hard work but love and admire her every milestone she passes, but "l need" is outgrowing all my compassion 'sigh' what do I do

I don't know what to say other than you are not alone. I am going through the same thing. Today I am so upset I can't even write about it. That was why I was searching online to find something to help me feel better. I found your posts..they at least made me feel like I am not utterly alone. I am so sorry you and I are going through this. I feel as if I am dying inside.

I feel for you. I am an aspie and in many ways i know what you are going through

Hi Ginny<br />
You have to have lived with this stuff to believe it. There is thankfully a lot of support for NT partners. I wasn't married to my ex, and we were long distance (which I now realise kept us together!) It was easy for him to have a telephone relationship?? It took me 3 years to figure him out. Like they say the beginning of the relationship was heaven,he was super attentive and seemed a gentle, shy, unassuming type of guy. He was a heavy drinker and I enouraged him to go to AA, he did, and then it was AA 7days week, he ws obsessed with his weight (and mine I might add!) and so it was the gym 7 days a week. He amused me at first, but then I began to lose interest in my apperance, my house and my life in general, I didn't link it to him at first. I started therapy and then the light went on.<br />
As regards sex, at first it seemed like he respected me and it was charming. By the time it ended I was made to feel like a needy sex starved nymphomaniac. He was so tight it was unreal. I shudder now when I think of the myriad of excuses I made to myself and all who knew me for his behaviour.<br />
I am now in the process of learning why I put up with him for so long. I cannot imagine what marriage must be like with this disorder. I got a lot of breaks away from mine. Get as much support as you possibly can. Good luck.

Hi again. I'm sure someone better informed than me will come along... But from everything I am reading and my own experience it seems most of our relationships started the way you describe and then.. one day.. poof... Gone... And in his place someone colder seeming and far less tactile.. and I don't think "getting them back" is on the cards... I think we have to learn to live with it if we want to be with them... Compromising massively of course but knowing that they DO love us s it else they wouldnt still be there... There would be no logic in that.. and for an aspie, honesty and logic are everything.<br />
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With my new understanding I am trying to take comfort on the fact that THIS partner won't lie or cheat...<br />
<br />
I do misses kisses tho. So much..

I am not sure it is love that keeps him here. I know he does love me deeply but I don't think that is why he stays. I feel like I have taken over as his mother figure and I hate that. He lives in my house and I pay all the bills, I think he may be overly dependent on me now even though that is not how it started out.... Looking back over the past 3 years things look so clear to me now. I can't believe I was so oblivious to the signs and clues. He does have some awesome coping skills and managed to turn my brain inside out blaming me and me thinking I was the one who had a problem (just like he blamed everything wrong with his life on his 1st wife's mental illness - he came out of that one perceived as a long suffering hero)...... One of the good things I did for myself just this morning was, he and I were having a conversation at breakfast... I felt my anger level rising because we were having different conversations and I was not being heard at all.... so explained it and I walked away. But that sent him to his bad place in his head and he is pouting, but I am OK!..... Also last night he informed me that he only hears 8% of anything I say. I thought that was an oddly specific number given that he has no idea how much he misses, but he may be correct with that number.

Hi Ginny. I hear you. .and so will others. I just wanted you to know that. I probably can't be much help to you as, although I too, only a few days ago had my "aha!" moment about my partner, I am only 2 and half years into the relationship. I have much to learn. But I identify with much of what you say. <br />
<br />
There are some people on here who have really inspiring things to say that can help people like us, NT spouses, who loves our partners and still want to make it work. I can tell you are in a bad place and reading what you say about your depression and lack of insurance makes me so grateful that here in the UK we have our NHS (that everyone complains about!) because in your position I would be able to go and get the help that you deserve.. counselling or other form of support.<br />
<br />
The most helpful thing I have learned so far on here is that we shouldn't look to our "aspie" partners to meet all our needs.. (because they sure won't get met!) Some of our emotional needs and friendship needs can be met by others. I realise you feel that you have lost that connection with your friends and I hope you can get past this place where you are at the moment so that you can reconnect with people again. I appreciate that it's hard though. Sending you love and strength.

Thanks... and a question.
In the beginning of our relationship, when we were still dating and getting to know each other, he seems normal. Just quieter. Kisses and caresses were passionate enough, we talked and I *thought* we were communicating fine. It was a little awkward, but no red flags. He felt safe to me.

So my question is... Can AS men get out of their oblivious bubble long enough to act normal for a period of time? If so, what causes it to stop? and how can I get that guy back?

I ask this because it seems like (poof) one day he was just gone and never came back. It's like living in an altered reality where he is sane and I am crazy... but I know I am not.