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This Relationship Is Draining The Life Out Of Me

Right now...while I write this story, my husband could be anywhere, he's driven off after an argument and left me worried and feeling hurt by what he's said...

I've been with my husband for 10yrs and married for 3yrs. It's not been an easy history to say the least, arguing, breaking up, getting back together, breaking up again, in fact as gullible as I am I hate knowing a person is upset and hurting, so I always put "me" aside telling myself how selfish and stupid / irrational I was being, so I would apologise and go running back against everyone's advice. It was only 8 months ago that he found out that he might be an Aspie when we had another argument and I tried to leave to get some space and he pinned me to the sofa...so scared & feeling trapped I couldn't get away, I didn't want to hurt him by punching or kicking him but he wouldn't let me go until I threatened to call the police (that's if I got loose!) I think it helped him realise what was going on and he suddenly let me go. As I was leaving I said "this is ridiculous you need help!" and left him. He started doing research and following several different Aspie questionnaires over a period of time he was scoring high i.e 36 out of 50 (NT score would be 16)it was then he discovered he might have Aspergers, I felt so horrible when I found out, guilt ridden and wanting to help work things out I went back to him and we had numerous talks to figure out "Work arounds" which would hopefully stop it leading to arguments (most of our arguments have been because he hasn't been able to show emotion, lack of understanding, unacceptable behaviour in social settings etc). To him, this was absolute relief, when he was reading stories he finally found a reason why he reacted so differently to me. In fact it ended up being a ticket he could use every time I didn't understand or became "Irrational", I was the one who had to make adjustments which was fine and I committed my time to making things work. We even tried marriage counselling and I went to an individual counsellor (which was a complete waste of time, they had no idea what it was like from an NT perspective). I also made one of the biggest sacrifices and sold my beloved horse whom I'd worked so hard for, O loved him soooo much he was my baby, he was my release and he was my fun time. I made the decision to sell him because at the time I was studying at Uni and working full time and with the news of my husband being an Aspie I wanted to make sure any free time I had could be used to help sort out our marriage and make things work. This was truly heart breaking for me, I loved my horse, I'd always wanted one since I was a kid and dreamed I would one day own one, I don't have any children so on my parent's mantle piece is my brother with his two children, my sister with her two children and me and my horse (My husband hates photos). I still haven't got over this, but did it knowing that with this huge sacrifice I could never expect my husband to understand that I valued our marriage more than my boy (horse)...the sale of my horse has also meant that I have lost many horsey friends.

I've sacrificed soooooo much to make this marriage work, even before I knew he had Asperger's I would constantly have to apologies to my parents and friends following comments such as "Why does he ignore me..." "Did I say something wrong?" "Why is he so rude, I've known him for ten years and he can't even talk to me" there's only so many times you can blame it on his shyness.

At our Wedding, he couldn't even stand up for the speeches and say a couple of words on how happy he was that we were married or how I looked... and that hurt. He couldn't do the first dance either so I had my first dance with my Dad, he just felt the whole event was ridiculous but has to be done if he wanted to be married to me and I had to be grateful for that.

He's one of five siblings and I'm sure two of his sisters and mum/dad might be candidates, his Nephew has been diagnosed with Aspergers. At one point we were renting a house and his sister moved in with us, it was an utter nightmare, I had two potential Aspie's living with me, it drove me insane, I was constantly cleaning up after them and I felt like their carer. He got really annoyed with my behaviour because I was always complaining and asking for both of them to understand why bins needed to be emptied and plates washed before it became hazardous, he said I had to understand "their" way of cleaning and managing the house and he said he'd had enough of my irrational behaviour and said I need to go to the Dr's to get help and go on tablets....so again I put his requests first and went to Dr's to go on tablets...it didn't help, luckily his sister moved out because she didn't have enough money to pay rent.

He's let me down on times when I've really needed him to be there for me such as going to really important appointments for my medical condition which on a few times have been quite serious i.e. test results, he has either not gone with me, been complaining that it's boring sat while I'm panicking over test results or not backed me up in appointments when I've been trying to get consultants to understand my viewpoint on treatments and issues etc.

All this has left me with feelings of hurt, guilt, disappointment, anger, rejection, isolated+++. So why do I put up with all of it??? Because I love him, that's why and I don't give up very easy...but everyone has a limit and I think after this evening I've hit mine...our recent argument was in relation to intimacy problems, i.e. he doesn't understand why I'm not always interested as much as he is in the bedroom. My point is that I find it very difficult being close to someone who is very cold, lacks emotion and expects me to perform at his beck and call, he thinks I am a robot and have an on off switch, I've told him that since we've been together I've tried my best to make sure he gets what he wants and that his needs are met however since we've been married it just feels more like a chore (yes this may appear harsh but we have been having these conversations for a long time to try and make things better). He got really upset over this and said that it changes everything for him, I tried to explain to him that Marriage isn't just about that, it's a partnership and companionship with love between two people, to which he said that I didn't realise what this meant to him, that it was the only way for him to feel any emotion, I have upset and hurt him because to him it's like saying I haven't liked him since we married. WTF!! This hit a massive raw nerve with me!! How dare he say this!!?? After all the sacrifices I've made??? I LOVE him I've told him this...I would NEVER have made those sacrifices if I didn't love him!!! I've put everything into this relationship EVERTHING!! I have no friends, I've hurt my mum and dad to make exceptions for him!! I've done everything to make sure he's happy and I've always put him first...now that I have difficulties with something HE WANTS TO HAND IN THE TOWEL!!!!!!?????? Unbelievable.... he's even tried to blame it on my medical condition (which is certainly not the problem)!!?? And yet only the other day when I first discovered this website and all the common traits on everyone's stories and the lack of support for NT partners I suggested a project with my partner (who is an IT Tech) to build a support website for NTs, we could work on this together and have something to share, I even had ideas of wanting to raise a Government petition to get NHS to cover adult referrals and to show how much support is needed for Adult Aspie's and NTs...well thats all to sh*t now...

Sorry but forget work around now, I've done my fair share of work arounds, I've communicated to him what is important to me and our relationship i.e;

* I'm happy for you to spend time in the £8,000 shed and equipment you've built/bought, but don't keep me up from 12am till 3am because it's the only time you feel you can talk and please don't keep complaining if I go to bed at 9.30pm because you think this is when babies go to bed.

*If I want something I have to tell you what I want, but I don't like it when you ridicule my requests and run me down when I suggest things we could do together.

* I know you can't help it but if you say horrible things to me, please understand that I need time to myself if I get upset to get over it, after cooking for you for 7years without complaints, please don't run my cooking down as horrible in front of you mum and dad.

*Please don't say that the presents I give you are sh*t when I try to bribe you with present to encourage you to go to see the dentist.
At first I tried to make it light hearted but after a while it starts to hurt and it's a constant internal battle to stop if from festering and turning into hate, resentfulness and bitterness.

Also I've always thought previously when I've hit lows like this that how can I leave someone who tries so hard to understand me even though he can't show it, how difficult life must have been for him growing up thinking he was "different", how none of the things he does is intentional although I have huge difficulties accepting this. He doesn't hit me, abuse me, and from what he tells me, he is trying his best.
So what options do I have ;

1. Calm down once more and apologise for my lack of understanding and try to work things out...again
2. Move out to see if things make a difference
3. Divorce, but on what grounds? I guess he could divorce me for unreasonable behaviour towards his Aspergers (if diagnosed), or Disertion....but do I have any grounds?
I just feel so exhausted....and trapped...does anyone have similar feelings have you been through a divorce and has it been for the better? I'm so down right now I just don't know what to do....

P.S Thank you so much in advance for any comments left and sorry for my long post xxx
An Ep User An EP User 4 Responses Feb 9, 2013

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......I don't know what to do!!!

Hey there, I just want you to know that you are FAR from alone. I too found your post to be heartbreaking and familiar. There are so many common elements in NT/AS marriages... I don't understand why there isn't more mainstream support. Many of us love our aspie husbands but suffer from so much loneliness, I wish I had more answers.

Hi thank you for your comments it helps so much...apart from my mum it's the only support I have so thank you xxx
Forsey - I had counselling which was offered to me through work, the counsellor in hindisght I don't think was very experienced in couselling partners because she was telling me I have to make a decision, stay or go and not to dwell on the negatives....she told me to make a decision about my horse and that selling him would save my marriage because between sorting studying for university as well as full time work (up to 50hrs per week) in addition to my health and being supportive for my husband and saving my marriage something had to go....so I chose to give up my boy and it's still something I struggle with.
I hate my life right now, I know I'm not happy, I know I should make the decision to leave him but I feel so trapped, I love him so much and I can't leave him because I know he's trying his best....how selfish am I to say his best is not quite good enough for me....

I am a therapist and the wife of an Aspie , your words are heartbreaking and familiar. I can relate to so many aspects of your life. Please don't spend one more minute giving up precious items, people or horses! You might want to consider another therapist because from my own experience it's essential too have your own interests that exclude your husband and your own friends. Get another horse!

I don't think you should stay in this relationship. I just posted my first story, it's right above yours, and I will tell you that you have a critically hard road ahead of you WITHOUT all the verbal abuse. It's also likely that your partner will become worse with age, people as they age become less flexible and understanding, etc and with Aspergers it tends to become much worse. My husband's family has 3 other men with AS and they were all difficult; now in old age they are hideous and nasty and I won't see them any more.

I can tell you that I would never have stayed with my husband if he treated me half as badly as you describe. You shouldn't put up with abuse from anyone, no matter what handicap they have.

Sorry, it's hard, I know. But things are already bad for you and with AS they tend to stay the same or get worse: they generally don't get better.