A Different Point Of View

From reading the stories in this group it looks like it's mostly females hooked up with male aspies. This makes sense as AS is more visible and more likely to be diagnosed in males as opposed to females. My story is different in that I'm a male in a relationship with an aspie female. Believe me, I understand the pain and loneliness associated with being involved with a person with AS.

I started dating my wife back in 1990. The first 3 years was a long distance relationship and I'd drive every weekend to see her. I noticed early that the relationship seemed cold and distant but I blamed it on the physical distance and the fact that she still lived with her parents. I tried talking to her several times about how slowly our relationship was progressing but she would reply that she wasn't going to get close to someone that lived so far away and she had no plans of moving close to me.

After 3 years of driving I finally found a job close to her and looked forward to moving our relationship along. We would spend time taking walks, playing racket ball, tennis, etc but never really dating or doing things ordinary couples would do. It was more like having a female companion and not a girl friend. Shorty after moving I started talking about getting engaged. She quickly replied no as she wanted to get an apartment away from her parents and see what it was like to live on her own before she got married. I distanced myself from her and only saw or talk to her if she initiated contact first.

As I attempted to pull away from her a strange thing happened. She seemed to want to get closer to me and before I knew it we were looking at rings in jewelry stores. We got engaged in 1994 and set plans to get married in Aug 1995. Even as I stood on the stage at my wedding I felt like I was marrying a companion and not the love of my life. I continued to lie to myself that once we moved in together things would be different and our relationship would start to look more normal.

The first 2 years of our marriage was frustrating. I tried as hard as I could and being a dedicated husband I kept telling myself that marriage is something you have to work at and held hope that tomorrow would be a better day. There were few moments where we actually experienced the joy of being a couple.

A little over 2 years into our marriage she got pregnant and we looked forward to having or first child. She insisted on breast feeding our children for 2 years so after the birth our son was basically in our bed with us almost all the time. I didn't mind too much as I am a very dedicated father and the lack of intimacy was a small price to pay for the well being of our child.

Right after she weaned our first she got pregnant with our second (another son) and right after she weaned the second she got pregnant with our third (a daughter). All this time sex was basically non existent and what little closeness we shared prior to kids evaporated into dirty diapers and spilled milk. In addition I was very focused on my career at the time and while still being a very dedicated father I chose to ignore the lack of intimacy and hoped it would get better as our children got older and more independent.

When our daughter was about 3 I started to talk to my wife diligently about the lack of intimacy in our relationship. I promised myself that I was going to make it a focus of our marriage and solve this niggling problem in my life. Every time I tried to talk to her she would either blow it off as trivial or basically shut down and refuse to talk about it. I found myself getting angrier and angrier as our "talks" always ended up with me yelling and screaming my point of view and feeling like my time would have been better spent talking to the wall!

About 3 years ago I made even a larger attempt to fix the problem. I scheduled regular talks with my wife to try and resolve our issues. I read everything I could find online about marital problems and how to solve them. I started to go to marriage counselling (alone). My marriage counselor really wanted me to bring my wife along and after much persuading she agreed to go. What a disaster! As hard as it was for her to open up to me about her feelings she really shut down in front of the counselor. After a couple of months of getting no where I decided to quit counseling and focus my time and attention on other problems and activities in my life. I started spending more time on my business (I've own my own business since 2000) and more time on activities I enjoy with other friends. I also spend as much time playing with my kids and being involved in their activities.

Besides the lack of intimacy and companionship in my marriage I had another situation in my life I spent little time trying to resolve. My oldest son is a little different. He's EXTREMELY smart, socially awkward and very uncoordinated. I didn't spend much time trying to focus on why he was different because he seems to be doing just fine in life. He gets good grades and while he doesn't have a lot of friends he does have a couple he hangs around with playing video games and having sleep overs, etc. I started to research online and quickly realized he has aspergers. Once I discovered this I spent the next 4 days solid trying to research and dig up any little bit of information I could find. It was at this time I started to learn the differences between AS in men and women. It was also at this time I started to read stories and discover information about what it was like to live with a female aspie.

Like flash bulbs going off in my head all of a sudden I had answers to the problems in my marriage!!! It was such a relief to finally realize that it wasn't my lack of effort or something wrong with me. And while it was a relief to finally figure out the problem in my marriage it was also terrible to realize that things aren't going to get much better ... ever. It saddens me now to know all of my efforts were in vain but it has brought me a level of peace I didn't have previously.

I don't believe in divorce and I don't want to drag my kids through a divorce so leaving her is not an option, at least at this time. Once they are raised and out of the house I may revisit that option but for now I'm here for them. Since I don't dwell on the problems in my marriage anymore I've been able to focus more on my business and put more time into working out and taking care of myself. Like I said while I'm not at all happy I'm happier and at least at peace with the situation.

I look forward to comments and any sort of correspondence with anyone in similar situations. At times I feel like the loneliness is eating me alive!
mrmustang mrmustang
46-50, M
5 Responses Jan 13, 2013

Hi, i really undrrstand your sitation. I have a child diagnosed with as and understood after 15 years why the relationship to his father never became a close one. I try to accept this too but its difficult to cope withall the misundrrstandings between me and my boyfriend because of his as-traits. I made an abortion because we never could spek about the child's diagnosis and the lack of communication. We are now in couples therapy but i don't know what the outcome will be... i even met another man a ew months because i couldn't handle the lack of intimacy during a full year - my boyfriend ignored me for months... i find it hard to leave this but i still consider this.

Leave her, life is to short.. You will find someone that loves you the way you deserve. Don't waist more time, you can be a happier and better father even when you are divorced.

Hello, hopefully there are still people attending to this post, it would be cathartic to write with others who are in my same boat. I found this thread through a Google search of "living with a husband who has AS" after a particularly nasty (yet common) argument with my husband. My husband hasn't been formally diagnosed with AS but all the signs are there. Seems so funny to me, it's a tough task to properly diagnose most issues in this world because many symptoms or characteristics can be attributed to a multitude of other issues -- this is not *at all* the case with Aspergers; There isn't one AS characteristic listed that my husband doesn't identify with, it's both reassuring and depressing. He's also taken online tests that rate your likelihood of having AS, his scores were off-the-charts.<br />
<br />
After reading all of the comments and replies to the comments, I've begun to feel a bit of relief. My husband and I have both suspected for a few years that he has AS. He's accepting of it... but ba<x>sed on how blatantly obvious it is, I don't see how he couldn't be. An interesting stumbling block is, although he fully comprehends that he has AS, he cannot, in the moment of an AS related impairment, make a direct connection with his behavior and his AS; I suppose that's to be expected, and why it's impossible to "cure" AS, but it's still disarming that an otherwise very intelligent man can't make a direct correlation with his strange behavior and his AS. <br />
<br />
My husband and I have been together for five years and married for two. Our marriage is strained at best and the prospect of staying in it (which I'm trying to do)... is... more than a little terrifying. I laughed when I read this from you: "However when it comes to having sex, going on a date or otherwise doing couple things, she can go weeks, months, I'm not sure how long. I've always wanted to experiment and see how long she would go without asking for sex but I always break down!! HAHA I guess that's part of being a male." -- I can totally relate and I feel the need to assure you that it's a part of being HUMAN not just a male! I once waited two months for my husband to initiate sex and to no avail... after that point I figured I was just salting my own wounds. Due to the AS we already have an extremely strained marriage, a perk is that the sex is decent... so I caved and initiated it with him.<br />
<br />
I also like "Macushla2004's" comment "The narcissistic aspect of "the whole world must see things exactly the way I do" is so tiring." -- oh my, isn't it? <br />
<br />
The argument my husband and I had this morning, turned into a screaming match (solely initiated and relentlessly continued by him) because he was attempting to convince me that my issue with him wasn't actually an issue. He didn't take the trash out, the trash is sitting in the kitchen, I'm mildly upset, he said he would do it the night prior; Of course, and although the evidence/validation for my complaint is still sitting in the kitchen, to him, it's not an issue or *the* issue. He began to insist, "you woke up angry at me... for no reason!". Yes, honey, never mind the clear explanation I just gave you about the trash, I woke up angry about nothing... like I don't do any other day, but this really must be the one day. <<< I didn't say that, but if I had, he would have thought I was being sincere. Feels appropriate to re-quote Machushla2004, The narcissistic aspect of "the whole world must see things exactly the way I do" is so tiring.<br />
<br />
My largest frustration with AS thus far is the CONSTANT explaining of myself, my intentions, my directives, my thought processes, my emotions, other people's intentions, other people's motives, other people's feelings, and so on. I feel like I'm a mother/teacher to my otherwise highly intelligent husband. I feel like he's made me old before my time. Like mr.mustang and his business, friends, and kids, I have resigned to relying on sources other than my spouse, as supplements. I wish I would have realized the importance of having 'supplements' sooner... but, you know.<br />
<br />
I'd like to know how everything has gone for you, mr. mustang. Anything new? I wish everyone the best of luck in dealing with an AS partner... it's very certainly not for the faint of heart!

Hi Albeitstrange. It's nice to meet you!

Things are a little better now because I told her I suspected she had AS. I did it by first discussing the issues with my son and then bringing up the fact that it's hereditary. We've long discussed how she and my son both exhibit similar behaviors and once I mentioned hereditary it didn't take long for her to say "So I'm guessing you think I have it too"? At first she just laughed it off. Now she's trying to deny it even though all the research she's done strongly suggests otherwise. I think she will eventually come around to accepting the fact. It's really doesn't matter to me. She knows she has it and she knows I know she has it so her accepting it means nothing to me.

Things have been a little easier since confessing I suspect she has it. I now know and can predict certain behaviors prior to them happening. I know she NEEDS to go on a run every day to decompress and I've quit worrying about the lack of connection between us and resigned to the fact that it's never going to happen. While it's saddens me to just give up, it's given me some peace to no longer try and to know that it has nothing to do with me. Since she knows I suspect she has been better at trying to be a good partner. We still can't have a conversation about anything other than kids, schedules and work but she tries to help out with things and tries to connect with me in certain situations.

Tell me a little more about yourself. Do you have kids? If not are you wanting kids with your husband? What are some things you do enjoy doing with your husband? What was it that tipped you off that your husband had AS? My kids are truly a blessing and the only thing that has made my marriage joyous. Even though my oldest has AS, it's mild enough where I like being around him and can connect with him in certain situations. His behaviors are largely poor coordination and somewhat poor conversation skills. He shares my love of technology and while most aspies suffer with a poor sense of humor, his is actually very good. We like to tell each other jokes and when he's watching a funny television show or movie he gets all the humorous references. My wife gets almost none of them. My middle son does very well is school and just your ordinary 12 year old boy. He has lots of friends and is he and I love to golf with each other. My youngest is a girl and she and I obviously share the same DNA. She is so like me at times it's scary. We can look at each other and immediately know what the other is thinking. We love to laugh and joke around and just have lots of fun. She is so connected to me even people outside our family comment on how well we get along. I think she misses the connection a daughter ordinarily has with her mother and has decided I'm the person in which she will rely. My kids have done a lot to alleviate the loneliness.

Even though my kids have been a blessing I know there is coming a day when they will no longer be around. I also know that I will simply go crazy if I have to live in a house with my wife alone. I really don't know what I'm going to do when that day comes. I'm guessing I will revisit the idea of divorce a little more seriously as it won't affect the kids as much. I know that day is coming and right now I'm not prepared to deal with it. Hopefully maybe some other things will change in my life where it won't matter as much. Right now it seems so far away but I also know my youngest is 10 and it seems like it was just yesterday when the doctor laid her in my arms. In 10 more years she most likely will be gone and I will be alone. I'll be all alone and that scares me.

I hope the best for you as you deal with your aspie. I hope you are able to find the peace you are looking for. Thanks for the response!

Hi, thanks so much for taking the time to write back and for updating me with what's going on, I very much appreciate it. You're honest and that's needed here.

I'm not sure why there are gigantic spaces between paragraphs on my last post... but I'll try not have that happen again.

I'm sorry that your wife isn't greatly accepting of her AS. My husband has, at times, actively sought out tests (scored off the charts) to take and I know he's thoroughly looked into AS. However, like I said, when it comes time to confront his behaviors and associate them with the AS... that's not happening, not now at least. To him, we don't *really* know for sure (oh the torture of his extensive questioning) he would need a brain scan and a neuroscientist's signed and authorized diagnosis before he would allow himself to fully accept it and begin to try and make any noticeable changes.

Speaking of the extensive, never-ending, exhaustive questioning; Do you experience that with your wife or son as well? I almost had to make a diagram of a local grocery once, because I asked him to buy some strawberry jam. 'Just go into the store, go left a little, then go a little down the isle, then on maybe the second shelf to the bottom, you'll see the jam'-- "okay, what if the jam isn't there?"-- 'THEN ASK SOMEBODY WHERE THE JAM IS!!'. The worst part is, during interactions like that, where my patience is tested to the nines and I begin to feel like my mind is melting, he becomes irritated with me "I'm just asking questions so I can get the right thing"... it's like a permanent Twilight Zone.

Speaking of what living with someone with AS feels like, I have come across other people describing it as "Chinese water- torture", more than a few times. Sadly, I had already been reiterating the phrase in my house so it was startling and a little comforting (because I had felt guilty about thinking it) to see that others felt the same-- perhaps you feel the same?

I'll never have a proper connection with my husband either, it's just not like that. We can't have a jovial back and forth conversation for more than a minute, two minutes if we're lucky. The best talks we have are the mutual problem solving talks, or talks about things that interest him. He also hoards things a little more than I'd like, I haven't seen that as a symptom but I figured I'd throw it out there.

I'm so glad to hear about your relationship with your kids, it sounds very special and unique. You're fortunate to have them, I know I didn't need to tell you that. You asked if I have kids, no I do not, I do think I want them, but mostly because of my husband's AS it's a big grey area for me. I have to be practical and honest, I don't necessarily want him as the father but only because of his AS. I worry that if something happened to me and they were left looking to him for guidance, affection, emotional support, ect. it just wouldn't be there; However, there is no question that he is a great provider and they would absolutely be taken care of and cared for. Also, I did some reading on the effects AS parents have on their children and isn't good... it's actually very sad. Needless to say, the jury's still out on having kids.

You also asked what tipped me off to my husband's AS. Well, from our first date together, I knew something was a bit off but it was later that I actively began searching for what was wrong. At some point, I can't pin-point when, it was all just too much-- he literally has every symptom from this list http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/tc/aspergers-syndrome-symptoms I realize that it's a list of childhood AS symptoms... but it's all there. For awhile I was particularly concerned with his inability to read or display any facial or body language cues, when I combined that with what seemed like his lack of empathy and sympathy... I was genuinely worried that he might be a psychopath. I know I may sound dramatic but it is what it is. When I began to have those very serious worries, I went looking for answers and found AS. Finding the description of AS was like finding gold-- AHA! I was so surprised, like I said in my previous post... everything matched up with him he was really surprised as well. The strangest thing is the lack of coordination and the sensory processing disorder. My husband cannot tolerate his feet or armpits being tickled, it's so interesting. I'm not talking about the bad reaction some people have, where they thrash around all the while laughing and yelling stop. I'm talking he becomes genuinely distressed... as if you're depriving him of air or something. Also, giving him back-rubs or neck-rubs is out of the question, they are somehow painful to him. I wonder if your son or wife is similar?

Thanks again for responding, I do appreciate it.

I can completely understand your comment about your husband needed a complete doctor's diagnosis before accepting his disorder. My wife is the same way about expert opinion. To her the entire population are idiots and only those with "credentials" are able to make decisions on things that complex. If I try to make a decision on something that costs a lot of money or is somehow going to impact our life significantly she can't trust her own instinct or my instinct. She has to get validation from someone who has a degree or some other form of identification as an expert before she is comfortable moving forward. Even when she buys something online she will research reviews EXTENSIVELY before making a decision on what to buy. Even if it doesn't cost a lot of money to her there is a *right* decision and a *wrong* decision to everything in life. People who make decisions on feel or instinct are complete idiots to her.

This decision making abnormality was there on the first date and I noticed it but was too ignorant to identify. We went to see a movie on our first date and I asked her what movie she wanted to see. She refused to make a decision or even provide any input as to what she liked! It was so confusing to me. As I got to know her I noticed that she makes decisions based on a criteria that is so different than most people. She has almost no favorites. If you ask her what her favorite color is, favorite movie, favorite holiday, etc she won't have an answer. The house we lived in previously to the one we live in now had all white walls because I let her pick out the color. Since I've discovered the AS I now know she did this because it was a no-decision. When she buys clothing she is more likely to buy something simply because it's comfortable and not because she likes it or she likes the way it makes her look. When she goes to a restaurant if the menu is extensive she locks up and usually just orders whatever I order or orders whatever she thinks is healthiest. It's soooooo alien to me how someone cannot have no opinions on anything. I've watched her stand in front of the menu sign at fast food restaurants completely locked up and not being able to make a decision about what to order while the cashier gets annoyed at how she is holding up progress. If I try to have any conversation with her that requires her opinion I end up getting frustrated because she is afraid to expose what she's thinking or she simply has no opinion.

And I can also identify with your supermarket story! If my wife is going anywhere she hasn't been to before she will get extensive maps on the internet to make sure she knows EXACTLY where she is going. Even if I am driving she has her eye glued to the map or is hogging the GPS from me to assure we don't make a wrong turn. If we make a wrong turn or otherwise make a mistake, to her it's a terrible crime. You don't know how many times I've sent her to the store to get something and have to explain exactly where it is just like you have to do with your husband.

And your comment about water torture is so true. I'll admit I'm a bad person because whenever a situation like going to the store or making a decision would come up I'd get frustrated and snap. There were many years (before I discovered it was AS) where I was argumentative and constantly complaining about our situation. Even my daughter would comment to me about what I jerk I could be. It's really sad but luckily since I've discovered the situation I've been so much calmer around her and accepting of the situation. If I could only do something about the loneliness I think I could actually be happy again.

You asked about touching issues, my wife doesn't really have any. She actually likes me to touch her and really likes me to massage her back, legs, or feet. She's completely OK with that. My son however is not. He objects to too much touching, hugging or other forms of affection. When I take the kids over to my mom's my two youngest do not hesitate to hug and kiss their grandma but my oldest resists it. My wife also resists affection from anyone other than me or the kids. My mom thinks the world of my wife and my mom is a very touchy, kissy person and whenever we leave her house she makes an attempt to hug my wife and until just recently my wife would resist it and pull away. The other thing I've noticed is that both my wife and my son overreact to pain. If you come up behind either and slap them on the back (not hard but not in a gentle touch, kinda like you'd slap your buddy on the back) they will howl in fake pain. My wife and I used to play a lot of racquetball and from time to time you get hit with the ball and most of the time it doesn't really hurt, maybe sting a little but her reaction made me think she had broken a bone or something. Another strange thing I've noticed is neither of them want to help to move something heavy. If I need to move furniture around I usually have to find someone else to help me. Both are so afraid they are going to drop the furniture on their feet or pinch their fingers against the wall or whatever but both usually end up just dropping the heavy object and walk away before we get it to the destination.

How is your husband with filling out forms? I've read that aspies sometimes have problems with forms and that definitely is my wife. If she purchases something online you'd swear filling out her address and credit card information was akin to Chinese algebra. She will fiddle and futz through the form locked up and not being able to complete it. I mean how hard is it to type your address into a form??? It's so weird to me!

Have you read "22 Things a Woman Must Know: If She Loves a Man With Asperger's Syndrome"? I read the male equivalent of it and if you haven't read it I highly recommend it. It's an easy read and the author (who has AS) gives some really good insight on what it's like from the aspie's point of view. It didn't solve my problems but it did give me some peace and advice on how to deal with my wife. One situation in particular that used to cause big fights between us was her love of running. When she gets up in the morning nothing comes before her planning her daily run. Not even feeding the kids! After reading the book I learned that aspies need some sort of decompression activity. Some like listening to music (my son), some like watching TV, some like playing video games, some like vigorous exercise (my wife), etc. Since reading the book I learned that she needs that run to function and although I still resent the fact that it's more important to her than I am, I don't get angry or frustrated about it because I know that's just what she does.

I'm glad you mentioned about the affects of kids being raised by an aspie parent. That is something I have not researched and I've noticed my kids are much more comfortable around me and seem to be on edge when my wife is around. I don't mean to make it sound like they don't love her, anything could be further from the truth! But for example a couple of years ago we were on vacation and my wife got a free 1/2 day at the spa so while she was there I took the kids and went to the beach and eventually ended up at the lazy river (we were at a resort in Mexico). When my wife was done with her spa appointment she caught up with us and my middle son said "Mom, can't you go back to the spa? You are like the no fun police". While it was kinda funny I know it hurt her. When I have the kids alone without her they are much more relaxed and at ease. She is so focused on schedules and homework assignments she forgets to just relax and have fun with them. That's another thing I've read about aspies and they have trouble just relaxing and having fun.

OK, enough of my ramblings! I need to get back to work!

Haha, funny about the fast-food menu thing. Can't tell you how many times that's happened. I get hot under the collar when I sense that people are getting irritated with him or myself; My husband on the other hand, if you're not aware that he has AS, you must think he has balls of steel, it's something that I somewhat admire. His AS causes him to not detect people's anger, sarcasm, rudeness, insults, annoyances, ect. I immediately detect anything that's intended to sting, and I take offense. Whereas, I have to elaborately explain other people's intentions to my husband-- and he still doesn't take my word for it. Talk about living through rose-colored glasses. Wouldn't it be nice, for a day or something, to just not care about what anyone else thinks or does!?

Another thing, my husband can't multi-task, not even a little. He is just like your wife, he's always concerned with the schedules, rules, ect. very rarely can he just relax and have fun, though in the moments he does, it's great. We have two dogs together and I can kind of glimpse into what he'd be like as a father, through the relationship he has with the dogs. When we go on walks with them he's typically very tense, he's too focused on what could potentially go wrong. My suggestions of loosening up seem like Greek to him; I'm pretty sure he's branded me as somewhat irresponsible or impulsive... two things I've never been accused of by anyone else. When he gets focused on a task... watch out, he's not coming up for air anytime soon. My husband doesn't have an outlet like your wife does with running-- although, he complains about not having one. When I suggest that he go play his guitar or go read, he says "no, I'm too busy". I feel like saying "you're always going to be too busy!" but I don't want to stigmatize his AS.

I feel bad too, like I haven't handled all of this very well. Despite knowing that he's suffering from something uncontrollable, there's still this part of me that thinks it's fixable or holds out hope-- if we just do this one thing... he'll come around. I know it isn't going to happen but it's not easy for me to accept, I'm glad it sounds like it's been easier for you. I'm glad you and I can talk to each other, and understand each other. When I talk to other people about these things they take it as me complaining about my husband or that I'm describing a loveless marriage-- and the questions of "why do you stay?!" come up. I stay because he's my best friend, I know every part of him... from the sweetest to the quirkiest. I love him unconditionally and so I'm here. I said my vows, I took them seriously.

On an unrelated note, there is an interesting dynamic between his mother and I. Things are better now but when I first met his mother she was as cold as a freezer to me. She didn't seem to care who I was or if I was staying. Right from the start it was obvious that she had labeled herself queen-bee of my husband. She would set times for US to call HER, she would try to tell us when we were going to come over to her house. The second year my husband and I were dating, she tried to tell us what restaurant we were going to eat at for his birthday dinner and what time we were going to be there! Another example, when my husband and I moved into our first place together and we invited her over-- she actually came in, began to wander around our house (didn't wait for us to tour her around) and she decided to start moving our furniture around, to where she thought it looked best. I could have fainted from the shock, my husband however... totally fine. Later that same night I let him know how odd and unacceptable his mother had behaved, he agreed (as much as any aspie can). Like I said though, things are better now. I understand that she was only assuming the role with him because she basically had to; Now I assume that role with him... and I'm not sure how I feel about that. Like your wife, he doesn't have an opinion on anything, almost everything is left to me to choose. There are times when he'll vehemently object to something, but it's rare. Another hard part is how unappreciated I typically feel, for assuming the roles I do. I don't think he grasps just how much he unintentionally places of my shoulders.

I should have been more tactful when I talked about the effects of an aspie parent on their kids. From how you've described things, it sounds to me like your kids will be and are fine.

It's already 3am! Thanks for reading, and writing back.

Also, thank you for the book recommendation, I'll get on to reading that!

Oh so you have the icy MIL too!!!! HAHAHAHAHA This just keeps getting better and better. My MIL did the same thing when I met her for the first time. Her icy glare and response made me feel like I was some kind of criminal. And she too used to try and interject herself into our lives. She used to move the kids toys around the back yard so they looked better. She would tell her husband to sweep the leaves out of our garage! AND HE WOULD DO IT!!! Anyways do you suspect that your MIL might also be AS? Reason I ask is I'm almost certain mine is. She is completely obsessed with watching the two cable country music channels. Her typical day is she wakes up about 11:00-12:00. Goes to the living room and watches for awhile. Eventually she gets up and eats. Sits back down and watches some more. Maybe around 4 or 5:00 she will get dressed and then watch some more. She will eat about 6 to 7:00 and then it's a marathon session of country music until sometimes 3 in the morning! It's insane. Her house is pretty much a mess. Her husband tries to keep it cleaned up but he's not quite equipped for that kind of work. I haven't been in their house in probably 2 years as she doesn't really like visitors which is an AS trait. She will also go through periods of depression that will last 3-4 days where she won't leave the house. I learned from that book I recommended to you that that is also an AS trait. Luckily neither my son nor my wife have problems with depression. My MIL also tries to make us buy the same insurance that they buy and wanted us to buy paint from the same store she buys paint when we painted the inside of our house. She also has a problem with being very rude and to the point with people. She's cause numerous hurt feelings with her son's wife over things she has said about her personally. She will say hurtful things to me from time to time, like how I don't work hard and I should lose my job. First of all I don't have a job, I own my own business and therefore would have to fire myself. And second I do work hard and she has no idea what I do. At first it used to bother me but I learned quickly to just ignore her rudeness. It doesn't bother me in the least anymore.

And my wife is the exact same with multi-tasking. She can focus like crazy on one thing but put 2 or 3 things in front of her and she either falls apart or locks up. It is because of this I usually do most of the cooking. Last night I got home late and she offered to cook. She can do some simple things in the kitchen like make a pot of spaghetti and warm up a jar of sauce. That's what she chose to do last night and while the pasta was boiling she set the timer. I wanted to show her some work I had done painting our dining room but she refused and said "I'm cooking here and I can only do one thing at a time". Who can't go look at a wall while water is boiling??? Oh I know, my wife. HAHA.

Sometime I need to tell you the story of how we ended up in the house we are in now. It's going to take me a little time to tell the story as it took her 6 years to find a house she liked. Ugh!

3 More Responses

Welcome mrmustang, and I enjoyed reading your comments with alliska as well. It is more unusual to have the female AS, but certainly not unheard of. I agree 100% with alliska about the relief of getting a diagnosis. No, there is no "cure", nothing to do, and honestly, very little stigma since not many people even know what it is, but the relief to my partner was immediate. He KNEW he was different, and simply not capable of dealing with certain situations and emotions, and had been told his whole life he was just a jerk! Simply knowing he was "wired differently" helped him a lot. But beware like aaliska's partner, mine has fallen into the laziness trap of using it as an excuse to not even try. No one realistically wants their partner to be "normal" if they know they have AS - there are a lot of wonderful aspects - and the knowledge that it is simply unattainable helps dispel the false hope. Speaking for myself, what I wish for and what we struggle with, is for him to be interested enough in me to want to actually try and see things the way I or any NT person does. The narcissistic aspect of "the whole world must see things exactly the way I do" is so tiring.

Hello to you Macushla2004. Wow! Your comment about the narcissism really hits home with me. It's like Chinese water torture for me. I noticed the narcissism early in our marriage but thought it was something I could deal with and adapt. However any comment from her now that has that "why isn't the whole world just like me" tone to it can really irritate me. Since figuring out that she is AS I've been able to brush it off a little more easily but there are times where it's just too much. How did you go about approaching the subject of AS with your husband? I haven't talked about it yet with my wife for fear of her reaction.

Well, without going into my story - I've posted here before - we are not married. He is off-the-charts AS, not able to even understand why people would marry or god forbid live together (his words, not mine). I envy those with AS partners that are capable of marriage and families, and are actually actively interested in having a life together with their NT partners. Mine is not. He loves me, wants our life together, but doesn't recognize that we are NOT together by any standard scale. We are not married, will never live together, he can go several days to a week with no contact whatsoever and is exacerbated by my frustration over it. He will have sex with me if necessary, but has no desire, and low testosterone. He also has an eating disorder and fancies himself a vegetarian, but that is just so he can limit his palate to protein bars and small cans of tuna. (Yes, still considers himself vegetarian!) and obsessively over-exercises, pushing himself to do p90X, and Insanity workouts at age 56. Then he's exhausted and has literally made himself sick and ruined his pelvic floor muscles to boot so he has physical problems with sex. So we have no couple time where we can bond over meals or grocery shopping, even working out he does alone, his tv is on constantly even when reading - which I find terribly distracting; he is unable to sleep with me in my bed at my house, and does not like sharing his bed at his house. But - he sees no problem with this, and while never being outright mean - he finds my needs, simple as they are, to be outrageous. There is no desire to meet halfway, or even 60/40 or 80/20. This is the way he is, and it is correct.

How did I approach it with him? He's very smart man, highly educated, 2 post graduate degrees. He has also been extremely depressed for his entire life. What opened the conversation was the right doctor frankly. He obsessively avoids them, but I really put my foot down as last year he was severely depressed, stopped eating, did not get out of bed or wash for days. When I was finally able to get him up he realized he had to do something, and had hit rock bottom. He had a new doctor, which helped, as she sent him to a psychiatrist in order to determine if he needed medication. The psychiatrist then ordered a battery of tests including IQ, perception, empathy, personality profile etc. He found it fun and liked the idea of having his high IQ confirmed, as he is very vain. It was confirmed, as well as a suspicion he had that he fell somewhere on the autism quotient ad that it was probably Aspergers's as he is so high functioning. It was confirmed by a psychologist/therapist. Why did it work for him, or how did I get around his reticence to be looked at? Honestly - and I'm not proud of this - I played up to his vanity. I know he is very intelligent, I knew he would be pleased, and he WAS pleased and fascinated by the idea of having so much attention paid to him during the testing (it was just one afternoon). Just think! Someone else who finds him as fascinating as he finds himself! I don't mean to sound sarcastic, but that is how I did it. I told him it would be "kind of fun" to find out, how glad I was that his Dr was taking such an interest, how often does an adult get that kind of testing, etc. Truth is, he had hit rock bottom and I was scared, but it did work. He *does* though, fall back on the excuse now of "I'm not capable, I'm wired this way"....and that is hard as even though in a NT person the temptation is to be hurt, offended and pissed off at their complete lack of empathy and (seeming) care about or interest in their partner, it would never occur to him to be rude and gets very upset and hurt at the implication. It doesn't make it easier knowing the pain you feel from dealing with your partner is not "intentional". The trick I struggle with is not taking it more personally and being more offended that they seemingly don't care enough for it to be intentional.

See if you can find someone to run personality tests, a local university might have someone also. In general, to see a psychiatrist you need a referral, and the "patient" has to agree to it. His came because he was actually completely honest to his MD, who made the initial referral. But the initial idea to even speak to a doctor about it and see was through me and my effort to keep it "light".

Do you watch "Big Bang Theory"? The character of Sheldon supposedly has AS. It's funny obviously, it's a comedy, but some things are right on the nose. Another show is Parenthood - one of the families has a middle school aged son who was diagnosed with AS. I find that to be a very realistic depiction of the narcissism, compulsions, neurotic behavior and also the frustration and lashing out that sometimes occurs. Maybe watching a couple of episodes together might open a dialogue. Maybe talk to your children about it, are any of them older and in college or in a psychology class that they could work it into conversation with their mom? GOOD LUCK :-)

I haven't watched either of those shows but I will definitely check them out. Thanks for the suggestion!

That's a great idea about playing to the vanity to get her to get some testing. However I'm not all that interested in getting her tested, unless it takes testing for her to admit the problem. If it weren't for the fact that my son is so obvious AS it would be very difficult to identify it in my wife. She's mostly normal but there are situations in life where the AS rears its ugly head and causes problems. Mostly my problem is living with the loneliness and lack of connection. I'm very close to my younger son and my daughter and interacting with them helps but it's no substitute for adult interaction. One day my kids will be grown and out of the house and I fear my loneliness will hit peak levels. I'm not sure I'll be able to handle it.

I had to smile when I read about your man's obsession with exercise. My wife is a running fanatic. She will put on her iPod and leave the house for at least an hour a day. Sometimes she's gone for over 2 hours! Before I suspected AS her obsession with running was a real strain on our relationship. She will plan her entire day around it. It doesn't matter how busy her schedule gets, she will *find* time to get a run in. However when it comes to having sex, going on a date or otherwise doing couple things, she can go weeks, months, I'm not sure how long. I've always wanted to experiment and see how long she would go without asking for sex but I always break down!! HAHA I guess that's part of being a male. Now that I see she is AS I don't protest her running nearly as much. I understand she needs it to keep herself level.

I'm thinking I'm just going to sit her down sometime and discussing the AS situation with my son and using that as an icebreaker to discussing her situation. She recognizes the quirkiness in my son so that part should be easy. At this point I don't think I have much to lose if she's gets upset or resists my diagnosis. I need to do something and this is the only idea I have right now.

Sounds like a good plan! And it's true, there is no need to be tested, all you're trying to do is start a dialog, and whatever it takes. Opening it with your shared concerns or observances of your son is a terrific idea.

I read somewhere - don't remember where - that it is very common for Aspies to take what we would consider "very good care of themselves". ie, attention to their appearance, vegetarianism, working out. On the surface it's all good. Sometimes though, it does take over. I can't tell you how many times we have had to travel for conferences and the choice of hotel is made on location to streets one can run on (he doesn't like tracks, and looks down his nose at hotel gyms) with complete disregard to things like: which hotel is hosting the convention! It makes no difference if they have a special rate for attendees, everyone else is there, there is no shuttle between hotels so we then have to rent a car or pay for cabs 4 or 5 times a day. In fact - and this is kind of funny only now - we live in Maine and attended a conference in Orlando that he was speaking at, and because he was unable to find a hotel with what he considered a suitable place to run or work out (in a pinch he will bring a portable dvd player with him on the trip and work out in the hotel room to P90X) we took a Wednesday night flight, he presented Thursday morning at 10:20am, I had to stay in the room and pack because he met me in the lobby immediately after leaving the ballroom and we hoped in a shuttle to make the noon flight back to Maine! He likes to travel light, no checked baggage, so it is not unusual for us to travel with him having a carry-on bag that contains a thumb drive with his presentation, enough power protein bars that he could survive on nothing but for at least 4 days, his running shoes, socks, a tshirt and shorts. Nothing else. Literally. And, he does not wash those running clothes but once used, are literally sopping wet and he hangs them to dry until the next day because....why bother? Then puts on the still-wet clothes. Yuck! Other than in this one quirk, he is absolutely fastidious!

*blush*, I too, have tried to "wait him out" for sex or just affection in general, just to see how long he can go. I have always given in. I completely understand your scenario. How do you keep from losing heart in that situation? I still struggle with "how come he can make time for things (or the one thing) that is important to him, but not me?". It's rare to really know or feel your actual worth to another person, and I feel I know the limits of what he feels for me. Our scales are different: what is HUGE for him sometimes barely even registers for me.

1 More Response


One item I am always struck with is the relief people feel when they find out their partner has AS. It is almost immediate validation that there is a barrier to intimacy they cannot control.

One common theme I have noticed amongst us is that the people on this board who have expressed this, all have partners who are around the same age. In my case, my husband is 45 this year. It wasn't until we started dating that AS was ever even talked about. I cannot imagine what that must have been like for his parents to not know what was happening or why they didn't make the same connection with him as their other children.

Have you and your wife discussed her AS? Does she know she has it? I say that in a kind way. I knew before my husband and it took me a bit to say anything.

Interestingly, it has become kind of a joke in my household. He will use it as a get out of jail card free to get out of doing an activity when he absolutely doesn't want to do something. I know some of it is AS and some of it is laziness, but I believe in letting live.

Glad you reached out.

Hi Allie and thanks for you comment. My discover of my wife's AS is a recent thing for me. I discovered it in late November and didn't want to bring up the topic with her over the holidays. Now I'm looking for a tactful way of approaching her as she is very sensitive to anything but positive comments. How did you approach it with your husband?

I am not sure exactly how it came up.

I used to tell him he seemed robotic when expressing his feelings about me but had no issue with being passionate about music. One day we got into a discussion about family and I was able to bring it up. I asked him if he knew what it was-he did not. I told him and it was like a huge weight had been lifted off of him because he had never really connected well with his family and some friends. I have since learned by reading here that many folks with AS are resistent to hearing about it. I am not a great one to give advice about it because I remember it being really smooth, which is probably why it is a little vague to me.

As far as telling your wife, it does not sound like it will be easy. I think if you are going to try to talk to her, you may want to think about seeking a professional to validate for you and help you find a way to communicate it to her. It may also help you to talk to a therapist about how to live with someone who has AS now that you have an idea of what is causing problems. (I did this and it helped tremendously!)

At the very least, I would make an appointment with her. The one thing I have learned is that there has to be a designated time for most things or their schedule gets thrown off. I definately would not bring it up in an argument and I would have some information about it.

I would also like to warn you that the DSM-V is going to come out in the spring and lump AS with Autism. You wife may be more receptive to being thought of as having AS then Autism (misconceptions abound).

I hope this helps a little bit! I know this has to be tough.