My partner of around 36 years is waiting for the final part of an AS diagnosis. He started the process a year ago when we were having issues, and after hearing more about autism on TV etc realised that it fit with how he had always felt.
He won't have the final part of the diagnosis until August/September this year which is a long time to wait. He feels in limbo and suffers with depression and some anxiety - this is likely related to struggling to 'fit in', but also the feeling that getting specific help is hopeless -resources being so low. His job is also unfulfilling - he feels unable to do anything more fulfilling (he's a shithot programmer!) due to general pressures of work. He's had counselling and CBT for work related stress and other life events, but as I saw on another post - CBT isn't necessarily helpful with autism. I know he feels pretty desperate at times but refuses to seek help as he doesn't feel that anyone can help him.
We've also had lots of difficulties over our time together and I moved out last year because of constant arguments and problems with social events among other things - I missed him though and came back after a couple of months. But this was hard for him, struggling with change. We're realising that he misinterprets a lot of what I say and especially facial expressions - a negative bias from his depression doesn't help - but communication can be a minefield sometimes. I'm treading on eggshells and so is he - trying to get it 'right', as he says.
Social events are also a huge challenge for him - he can do them occasionally but finds them exhausting - people say he's easy to talk to though. It also means that we rarely entertain at home as he really struggles to cope with that - especially how he's feeling at the moment. I'm very sociable and manage a separate social life but I do want us to go to events together really. If an invitation drops on the doormat I dread opening it because I know he's going to feel stressed about it.
I would love to be able to help him - if I can. I'm a psychologist which does give me a lot of insight and he talks a lot about how he feels, but in real life and the heat of the moment that doesn't always help! I would welcome any tips from anyone in a similar situation.
I'm sorry to hear about the challenges that you and your partner are experiencing. You might find the general information for partners of autistic people of use: https://www.autism.org.uk/about/family-life/partners.aspx
If you would like further advice or information you could also contact our Autism Helpline - you can find details here: https://www.autism.org.uk/services/helplines/main.aspx
I hope that helps.
Thank you Kerri-Mod, that’s really helpful. Hopefully it helps @NAS65652 as well - you seem to be having a much tougher time than me.
@Slipstream, although I’m a psychologist and have a reasonable understanding, autism isn’t my specialism.