New here- Husband has AS and son may too

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2007
New here- Husband has AS and son may too
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Mon, 11-05-2007 - 3:47pm

Hi folks,

I have been lurking for a while and thought I should introduce myself.

After being with my husband for over 15 years (married 12) and struggling with many aspects of our marriage, I finally found out that my husband has Aspergers Syndrome.

No one ever mentioned it, until my it occurred to my in-laws to mention that my FIL probably has AS -- only after I was pregnant :( Needless to say that my initial concerns were for my unborn child, and then after he was born and I wasn't getting the type of emotional support that one would expect from a typical relationship after our son was born, things started going downhill quickly.

When my son was 18 months old, my husband decided that since I was stressed and unhappy in our marriage that the logical solution was to get a divorce.....

Only after we separated did it occur to me that my husband may himself have Aspergers and the more I read, the more I was sure that it was the case.

In the mean time, our son was exhibiting some minor delays and potential red flag behavior, so I got him evaluated and he has been getting early intervention including OT, PT and Speech as well as going to a fantastic Early Intervention pre-school program which has been tremendously helpful.

Our son is high-functioning and very bright, and his behaviors and idiosyncrasies are subtle so he may not "qualify" for an official dx at this time -- and I am thankful that he is doing so well -- since I hear so many stories about kids who miss out on the window of early intervention and only get the attention they need when they are 5-6 years old or even older.

Anyhow, I'm still trying to learn as much as possible, because I would rather err on the side of caution and getting the needed services, because I know all to well what the consequences are of living with a high-functioning undiagnosed adult who is never wrong, very literal, and clueless when it comes to basic "common sense" and who is incapable of being supportive and attentive intuitively.

Thanks for listening

Michelle -- aka NotCAATY=Not Crazy After All These Years




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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2007
Fri, 12-21-2007 - 7:48pm
<Lilypie 3rd Birthday PicLilypie 3rd Birthday Ticker a
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2004
Wed, 12-19-2007 - 10:20pm

Dear Candace,

Just read this reply and wow, I can so relate to what you wrote on so many levels. You are not exactly describing my dh, but the ESSENSE of what you are writing is the same. And I also wouldn't change being married to my man, an undx'ed aspie, but now aware that he is, and more and more every day as he watches his son grow and identifies their many similarities.

My man also cannot grasp the concept of being unfaithful, and has been learning, almost for the first time, so much about himself and relationships with people during and through our marriage. In many ways, I have been able to provide a safe place for him to experiment, and also to be real. My dh needs space and time to decompress from his work and the world. He needs undistracted creative time to write his computer programs, both for work and for himself. He also craves connection, comradery, love, affection, but he can't handle any of that when he is overwhelmed. We have really had to learn to work together in order to even begin to have what both of us need, as it often seems we are at such cross purposes (or porpoises).

He is also growing into an amazing father, better able to comprehend so much about my son, and now their friendship is becoming such a powerful thing for both of them. It is good for ds to have such a separate, male relationship with his dad, and away from ME. Dh is becoming to his son the father he never had, as his own dad left when dh was young, HIMSELF unable to cope with so, so much... Hmmmmm.

I love your Number 3. And often it feels like those mountains are neither invisible not bore-able, but rawther that I have to bloody well CLIMB them, step by struggling step... but as with raising my amazing, challenging son ... nothing is as rewarding as the rewards when worked for so hard!

Pax,

Sara

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2005
Tue, 12-18-2007 - 7:12pm
doctorag,

I know where you're coming from. In the beginning of our marriage I had quite a few of the exact same feelings and concerns you do. In fact, I still do on occasion. There were so many things in your post that I can identify with!



My earning potential is more than 3 times that of my husband's, and, like you said, always will be. When we were engaged (before his dx) I was very concerned over the fact that he didn't seem to have any ambition. He is a very bight man, and was even a nuclear operator in the navy, but he'd failed to get his degree in engineering after separating from the service. When I met him he was a computer technician for a very small custom PC shop, which was way below his level of expertise. When most couples are at that stage of their relationship they daydream a lot together about the future and what they're plans are, both realistic and unrealistic. We didn't, because he couldn't. He took the "one day at a time" motto to a whole new level. A very low one. We were in a position at that time where he could have gone back to school, and when I tried to encourage him to do so he resisted. He said it wasn't realistic because he'd gotten low grades in one of his classes the last semester he'd been in school. Just one class and the whole idea of a degree went out the window.



The decision I was faced with was whether or not I had enough ambition for the both of us. It wasn't an easy decision at all. He had to be flexible enough to take direction from me on issues that a person normally makes for themselves with only input from their spouse. Like where you work, what you do for work, etc. At first he resisted this too, and not because he didn't want me telling him what to do (turns out that's why he wanted a wife in the first place!) but because he liked one of the bosses he had at the time and didn't want to leave that person short handed. The other boss, who handled all of the employee pay/benefits/etc end of the business was very abusive. He took horrible advantage of my DH on a regular basis. When our first DD was born he only let my DH have half a day off, and DH just said 'yes sir'. I very seriously thought of leaving him at that point. BUT, it turned out that even though he didn't have any sense of ambition he did have a sense of survival. When that boss bounced 3 pay checks in a row to him he quit without notice. (no point doing the work if your not going to get paid after all).



DH allowed my grandmother and I to find him a new job. He had his dx by then and we were able to find an employer that was willing to accommodate his Asperger's. He's still with that company today, 7 years later. The HR people talk directly to me, and I make all decisions about his 401k, life insurance, etc. The company has been great over all, and has worked with us to get DH his certifications and formal training in various fields related to his work, and he is now one year away from earning his general contractor's and builder's license. (If I tell him to ask about training he shrugs it off, but if the boss says "you need X training, my secretary is sending your wife the info" he says "yes sir".) They've also helped with his social skills training and went the distance to get him a whole-life insurance package instead of term so that he would have assets in the event of an emergency.



As for what kind of husband he is, well, its different. Better than an NT in some ways. But there are still times when, as Renee says it, I want to gouge my eye out with a finger. On the good side, he doesn't understand infidelity at all. The idea doesn't appall him, it just confuses him. He doesn't understand why anyone would actually want to cheat on their mate. Which is good because he gets hit on a lot by other women.... most of the time someone has to point it out to him though, lol.



I do wonder sometimes why he asked me to marry him. Was it because he wanted me specifically? Or did I just happen to be the first competent woman to look his way? We've had some very rough patches here and there, and when I've threatened divorce he's acted like it didn't matter. He's even told me "If that's what will make you happy then do it. Call a lawyer." But then there are times where other men would piss and whine about something where he doesn't. My mother recently got a flat tire while traveling and she was over 50 miles from our house. He didn't even bat an eyelash, he just picked up his tool kit and went out to change her tire for her. Took him 3 hours, and he'd already worked a long day, but to him this is 'what family does'. I think he was actually proud to have had the opportunity to have helped her and that it was him that she'd called when she needed help.



He's a good father. Since he doesn't spend time out hanging out with 'the boys' after work or on weekends he has more time to spend with the kids. He does have a bit of a problem getting interested in their interests, but he tries. In fact he could accurately answer questions about his kids that most fathers couldn't, like what their favorite music or movie is (at the moment), or where they are at any given time. He couldn't even begin to tell you what he wants for Christmas or his birthday (his brain freezes up), but when asked he doesn't even hesitate before beginning the long detailed lists, per child, per price range, per holiday when it comes to the kids. And, in the 9 years we've been together he hasn't been wrong. He can be abrupt with them sometimes; come charging into a situation yelling and screaming when he doesn't know exactly what's going on, but he's gotten tremendously better about it.



Being the wife of an Aspie depends very largely on the Aspie in terms of emotional contentment within the marriage. Some Aspies are attention and/or sensory seekers with their spouses, while others go the opposite direction and are attention/sensory avoidant. Seekers have a tendency to leave the spouse feeling suffocated and overwhelmed at times while the avoidant ones tend to leave their spouse feeling lonely and rejected. My DH falls into the 'avoidant' category. The only advice I have there is to find a really fulfilling hobby, and realize that it isn't you, he/she isn't rejecting you personally, it's just the way they are and they mean no insult or bad feelings by it. You can help them be more reciprocal by being open and honest with them about when you need attention, and how, but make sure to try and do it in a civil tone (which isn't always possible mind you, lol).



I think what it comes down to is that deciding to marry, or stay married to, a person with Asperger's Syndrome you inevitably have to ask yourself the same questions that you would if your mate were neurotypical:



  • Can I live with their faults/differences?

  • Is the problem something that can feasibly be resolved to mutual satisfaction?

  • Am I honestly in love with this person?

  • Do we, or can we balance each other?


Number 3 is probably the most important question on that list. Love doesn't move mountains, but it does make them invisible. It's also a great digging tool for boring a hole through those mountains. If you love your mate enough to do the same for him/her that you would do for your own child, then... well, that's love, in a big way.



And it was the reason I decided to go ahead and marry my DH knowing that he was somehow different and that he wouldn't be able to give me all of the things a 'normal husband' could.



~Candes






APOV on Autism

APOV on Autism

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2007
Tue, 12-18-2007 - 3:00pm

Hi,


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2005
Tue, 11-20-2007 - 3:24pm

NotCAATY,

My husband is a signed, sealed, and dx'd Aspie. He was dx'd the year after we were married and it's been a strange ride. I actually married him because of his oddities (and he was cute!). He's my second husband, and I already had 3 daughters from my first, one of which was severely autistic (non-verbal at the time). He understood her like no one else I'd met. We were friends for a while before we started dating and everyone in my family and all of her EI providers agree that her progress at around the age of 5 (she's 13yo now) was due to him. She started talking basically just for him. For a long time she wouldn't talk to anyone else. He was her buddy and always knew what she wanted.

We had two more daughters together, one of which is also an Aspie, though lower functioning than him. But I wouldn't trade any of them for the world!

~Candes

APOV on Autism

APOV on Autism

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 11-19-2007 - 8:03pm

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2007
Fri, 11-09-2007 - 7:11pm

Thank you all for the warm welcome. I'm not sure about our son, since he is still very young (only 2.5 y/o) and very high functioning. Also, I have had him in "early intervention" program for a while now which undoubtedly has helped him tremendously with socialization and pretend play etc....

But at home we see other behaviors and he does have an aversion so eye contact even with me -- loves anything to do with trains (but that may be just a boy thing) and takes things pretty literally. He went from almost no speech at 12 months and now he is using 7-8 words sentences with correct grammar which shows intelligence, but may distract from people noticing other behaviors -- I hope he is not on the spectrum but if he is, I don't want to him to miss out on important interventions....

Regarding my husband, he too is un-dxd which is very typical since 20-30 years ago and more, the knowledge about HFA and AS was limited so kids were either being mis-dx'd or un-dx'd.

manec93 -- you are brave to have 4 kids.... I would love to have another but it feels so complicated, especially with an Aspie husband.... who is in-denial....

liamsmommyo2 -- Haven't seen Mozart and the Whale... planning to soon -- especially with the writers strike which will "mess up" regular programing :)

manec93 and liamsmommy02 -- you may want to check out our partners support group (see my profile) -- many of our members find it validating to share their stories with other women who "get it".




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Are you, or do you know anyone in a relationship with a man who has Aspergers Syndrome?





AspergersAndOtherHalf support group for women







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Are you, or do you know anyone in a relationship with a man who has Aspergers Syndrome?
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2003
Fri, 11-09-2007 - 1:15pm

Hi Michelle,


Welcome!

Molly
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2003
Fri, 11-09-2007 - 11:53am

Hi Michelle!


My DH is a self-admitted, although not diagnosed, Aspie.

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-2006
Fri, 11-09-2007 - 12:29am

Welcome Michelle!


I have alot of aspie traits but don't believe I am on the spectrum.

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